The Latest: Blagojevich attorney calls case very different


CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the resentencing of ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (all times local):

10:50 a.m.

Rod Blagojevich’s defense attorney says the former Illinois governor’s corruption case is “no longer about selling his office for personal gain.”

Attorney Leonard C. Goodman told a federal judge Tuesday morning that the case the judge will resentence Blagojevich for is “significantly different.” Goodman told U.S. District Judge James Zagel that counts involved with Blagojevich trying to get a job in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet have been thrown out and the counts remaining deal with Blagojevich trying to earn campaign money.

Blagojevich’s attorneys have asked the judge for a five-year sentence. Prosecutors say Blagojevich’s 14-year sentence should stand. An appeals court ordered a resentencing after striking down five of his 18 convictions.

Blagojevich is appearing at the sentencing via a video feed from prison. He stood when the court asked for all to rise.

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10:30 a.m.

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has white hair and is wearing prison-issued clothing in a video feed from prison at his resentencing hearing.

The glimpse of Blagojevich Tuesday morning is the first official look at the convicted politician since he was incarcerated in 2012. The resentencing hearing was scheduled after an appeals court struck down five of his 18 convictions.

Blagojevich still has his same full head of thick hair, but it has turned white because hair dyes aren’t allowed in prison. He looks thinner and was wearing dark clothing, sitting on a chair facing the camera.

Blagojevich’s defense has asked for his sentence to be reduced to five years. Prosecutors have asked the judge to leave it the same, saying he doesn’t deserve leniency.

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10:25 a.m.

Rod Blagojevich’s wife and two daughters have arrived at Chicago federal court ahead of the former Illinois governor’s resentencing hearing.

Patti Blagojevich and daughters Amy and Anne arrived Tuesday morning at the downtown courthouse. Blagojevich has been separated from his family since he was incarcerated in 2012. Patti Blagojevich pleaded with a federal judge in court documents filed Monday, asking U.S. District Judge James Zagel for leniency on behalf of her husband.

The resentencing hearing was scheduled for Tuesday after an appeals court struck down five of his 18 convictions. The 59-year-old Democrat will appear at the hearing via a video link. The defense has asked for a 5-year term. Prosecutors want the judge to impose the same term.

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9:05 a.m.

The wife of Rod Blagojevich is asking a federal judge for leniency ahead of a ruling on whether to reduce the 14-year prison term of the former Illinois governor.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge James Zagel contained in court documents filed Monday, Patti Blagojevich wrote she is “pleading, indeed begging” that her husband be freed.

Blagojevich also recounted the milestones her husband has missed with their two daughters since being incarcerated in 2012.

A resentencing hearing is scheduled Tuesday in Chicago federal court after an appeals court struck down five of his 18 convictions. The 59-year-old Democrat will appear at the hearing via a video link.

Zagel also received a letter from Blagojevich’s father-in-law, former Chicago Alderman Richard Mell.

Prosecutors want Zagel to impose the same term, saying Blagojevich doesn’t deserve leniency.

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8:55 a.m.

Rod Blagojevich’s Jailhouse Rockers may have disbanded but their memory lives on in the ex-Illinois governor’s resentencing case.

A federal judge will decide Tuesday whether to cut Blagojevich’s 14-year prison sentence on 13 of 18 convictions upheld by an appellate court, including that he sought to exchange an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat for campaign cash.

The defense has asked for a five-year term, citing the dropped counts and Blagojevich’s exemplary prison behavior. They even pointed to how Blagojevich, an Elvis Presley fan, formed a prison band called “The Jailhouse Rockers.” The group had a 21-song play list, and Blagojevich was the lead singer.

It dissolved after the lead guitarist was released.

Blagojevich went to prison in 2012.

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1:15 a.m.

A federal judge is set to decide whether to cut the 14-year prison term given to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich after an appellate court threw out several of his corruption convictions.

A resentencing hearing is scheduled Tuesday in Chicago federal court. The 59-year-old Democrat will appear on a courtroom screen at the hearing in Chicago via a video link from his Colorado prison It will be his first public appearance since he entered prison in 2012.

Blagojevich was originally sentenced in 2011, following his conviction for trying to exchange an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat for campaign cash.

An appeals court ordered a resentencing after striking down five of his 18 convictions.

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