Rod Blagojevich Sentenced 14 Years
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was sentenced 14 years on Wednesday for trying to sell President Barack Obama’s vacated senate set for cash or position, among other charges, making him the second-straight chief executive of the state to be convicted on federal corruption charges.
U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel ignored Blagojevich’s plea for leniency, saying that the punishment was necessary because the former governor had “torn at the fabric” of the state. In an apologetic speech, the 54-year-old Blagojevich plead for leniency and asked for forgiveness for his mistakes. “The jury decided I was guilty. I am accepting of it. I acknowledge it, and I of course am unbelievably sorry for it,” he said according to the Guardian. “I want to apologize to the people of Illinois, to the court, for the mistakes I have made … I never set out to break the law. I never set out to cross lines.”
Prosecutors had asked for between 15 to 20 years for Blagojevich, who served governor from 2003 until his impeachment in 2009. He was convicted on 17 corruption and other charges. He will report to federal prison on February 16, 2012.