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Rod Blagojevich sentenced to 14 years for corruption

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after being convicted by a jury last June on 17 corruption charges. He is the second consecutive governor of Illinois to be sent to federal prison for white collar crimes. The nearly 55-year-old former governor pleaded for mercy from the judge before his sentencing Wednesday, but the judge was not swayed.

Blagojevich apologized for his crimes before his sentencing and his defense attorney read letters from Blagojevich's wife and children in the hopes of securing a more lenient sentence. The federal judge, however, felt that the apology and acceptance of responsibility was too late in coming.

He felt that Blagojevich could have better demonstrated remorse by resigning as governor after being indicted on charges. The judge also felt that his children's need for a father should have weighed on Blagojevich's mind more to prevent the crimes than it should now on his, the sentencing judge's. The 14-year sentence was less than the 15-20 sought by U.S. attorneys.

Blagojevich must report to prison within 90 days, and he must pay a $20,000 fine. Blagojevich was accused of trying to sell President Obama's U.S. Senate seat after Obama was elected to the presidency. The judge and U.S. attorneys said that Blagojevich had cost great expense to the Illinois public and, worse, had cost them their trust in government.

Source: CNN, "Blagojevich gets 14 years in prison for corruption," Bill Kirkos, Dec. 7, 2011

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