After 14-year sentence reaffirmed, Blagojevich appeals again

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 8/23/2016 3:51 PM
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  • Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2010

    Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2010

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is appealing a federal judge's decision from two weeks ago reaffirming his 14-year sentence for political corruption.

The former Democratic governor's attorney filed notice of a new appeal Tuesday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The imprisoned Democrat is appealing his sentence to the same 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found last year "it is not possible to call 168 months unlawfully high for Blagojevich's crimes."

That ruling tossed five of Blagojevich's 18 original convictions, leading to the hearing early this month before U.S. District Judge James Zagel at which Blagojevich sought to have his sentence knocked down to five years, which essentially would have meant his release.

Blagojevich attorney Leonard Goodman told the Sun-Times Tuesday he still thinks there were "significant issues" during the resentencing hearing.

"I do feel that there were some errors in the sentencing that the court will take a look at," Goodman said after the notice was filed.

Goodman said he's not sure if Blagojevich's latest appeal will be limited to the prison sentence. During his first round of appeals, Blagojevich sought unsuccessfully to take his fight for freedom all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the hearing before Zagel Aug. 9, a white-haired Blagojevich appeared via video conference from a Colorado prison. His daughters, ages 20 and 13, pleaded during testimony for Zagel to reduce the sentence.

But Zagel did not do so, citing the "significant damage" Blagojevich inflicted on the state and the erosion of public trust in government.

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