Blagojevich defense recycling arguments for sentencing

December 1, 2011

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AP/Nam-Y.-Huh
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

Former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich is relying on arguments he made at trial to convince the judge to give him a short prison sentence. Using the federal sentencing guidelines, Blagojevich's lawyers calculate that he should do about three and a half years but they're asking for a downward departure from that starting point. Using the same federal guidelines, prosecutors have calculated the starting point at 30 years though they're asking for less.

Lawyers will haggle over those calculations at the governor's sentencing hearing next Tuesday and Blagojevich's lawyers will be using arguments they tried to sell to jurors. They said in a recent court filing that Blagojevich wasn't trying to get bribes, he was just fundraising. And they insisted he had no intention of doing anything illegal. Blagojevich's attorneys also say the governor didn't have a leadership role in the criminal activity. They wrote, "Mr. Blagojevich sought and took advice from people he trusted.  Mr. Blagojevich followed rather than led."