Rod Blagojevich could get up to 20 years in prison

Nov 30, 2011, 11:22 by R.E. Christian

U.S. prosecutors said Wednesday former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich should receive 15 to 20 years in prison for his corruption convictions.

A sentencing memorandum filed by the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago said, "A sentence in the range of 15 to 20 years' imprisonment would be consistent with sentences imposed in broadly similar cases."

The former governor is due to be sentenced next Tuesday.

"Blagojevich, unlike other defendants in this case, has been found guilty of multiple criminal acts of extortion, bribery and fraud, covering multiple episodes, as well as lying to government agents in an effort to obstruct an ongoing criminal investigation," the memo said.

"Over the course of a relatively brief period of time, during his machinations surrounding the appointment of a United States senator [replacing President Obama], and the shakedowns of hospital and racetrack executives, the defendant revealed his corrupt, criminal character," the filing said. "But, as the evidence and Blagojevich's conduct at his trials established, these were not isolated incidents. They were part and parcel of an approach to public office that defendant adopted from the moment he became governor in 2002. In light of Blagojevich's extensive corruption of high office, the damage he caused to the integrity of Illinois government, and the need to deter others from similar acts, the government suggests a sentence of 15 to 20 years imprisonment is sufficient but not greater than necessary to comply with [federal law sentencing factors]."

Attorneys for Blagojevich said in September they were seeking probation for the former Illinois governor, who was convicted of 17 counts of corruption.

Blagojevich attorney Sheldon Sorosky said his client is a fit candidate for probation.

"The taxpayers never lost a dime. Blagojevich never received a dime," Sorosky told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Source: UPI