Blagojevich Judges Agrees Guidelines Too High
The sentencing hearing of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is underway. The judge has said he won't rule until tomorrow. The best place to follow is Twitter.
This morning the parties debated the sentencing guidelines. The Judge sided with the Government, finding the criminal activity was extensive, Blago had a leadership role and he tried to get $1.5 million for the senate seat. That puts the guidelines at 30 years to life.
"It should be noted that I agree with the government and the defense for that matter that the guideline that is correctly computed for this of 30 years to life is simply not appropriate given the facts of this case."
So the Judge will grant a departure and/or variance from the guidelines, but how much? [More...]
After the guidelines portion of the hearing, the defense called a pediatrician who testified about Blago's All Kids program, which provides health care to uninsured Illinois children.
Blago's defense attorney Carolyn Gurland then began laying out his argument in mitigation. She said Blagojevich will make a statement (he will go last, probably this afternoon.)
The judge questioned Blago's lawyer about Blago's comment to the presentence officer that "he came from nothing." Via WCIA Steve on Twitter, she responded that it was an inadvertent phrase, that he felt more comfortable being around people who had to work for a living. She said his policy decisions were based on his childhood experience of being with working class people.
The court is in recess for lunch.
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