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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  • Display: Sort:
    What (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:42:12 PM EST
    possible sentencing guideline could there be for trying to sell a seat in the US Senate?

    10 years served. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 04:30:43 PM EST
    10 years served.  Not 30 years sentenced and then 5 served and parole.

    That 10 years should be on a rock pile if they still exist.  But 30 years when no one is dead or even maimed is way too much.

    15 at most, but served, and give him a buzz.

    You have a real mean streak (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by sj on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 04:38:26 PM EST
    What is the point of giving him a buzz?  Other than to look like you and therefore more acceptable to you?

    If I still had hair that thick you bet everyone would know it.

    Of course maybe you were just kidding, but I haven't noticed much of a sense of humor from you.  Would be happy to be wrong.


    Actually the buzz was for additional punishment. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:20:55 AM EST
    Actually the buzz was for additional punishment.

    You have to hit them where it hurts. This guy is an egomaniac even for a politician.

    An old adage in the military is "break them, and then make them."  (Actually "remake.")  We need to reset this guy's ego back to zero, and then maybe he will have a chance to remake his attitudes and his life.

    I could have gone with the "uniformity, conformity and teamwork" one but I really don't like the guy.


    Well I didn't join (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:36:52 AM EST
    the military.  Most US residents didn't join the military.  But that's the sort of world you think everyone should live in?  Do I have that right?

    It's being worked on as we speak (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:44:14 AM EST
    Pentagon Offers US Police Full Military Hardware

    Give it a few more years and Blago would be in gitmo, if he was still alive.

    Or maybe he'd be president and worshipped?


    then why not make your comments (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 04:01:41 AM EST
    on a Nancy Grace site instead of here. We support the defense -- and rational sentencing even when we don't personally care for the defendant or his misdeeds. And your personal feelings towards Blago have no relevance to what sentence he should receive.

    You are ignoring the salient points. (none / 0) (#9)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 09:11:32 AM EST
    I said he should serve 10 years not 30 years.  I did get the term "parole" mixed up with "probation."

    It would seem that would be in line with the Defense Lawyers side, yet you seem upset about a side remark about hair which will have no bearing whatever on his sentence.

    This man brought disgrace, pain and a certain amount of ruin into state and national politics as well as committed statutory criminal acts.  What would you say is a fair sentence?  

    I think I am being exceedingly generous to the defendant side of this issue.  


    You don't have to have any actual knowledge (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Peter G on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 04:49:52 PM EST
    of federal sentencing law to participate in this discussion, I suppose, but at least you should read TL's posts and comments and believe her when she says that THERE IS NO PAROLE IN THE FEDERAL SYSTEM.  Parole was abolished for offenses committed on or after November 1, 1987, nearly 25 years ago.  What are you talking about, saying "5 [years] served and parole"?  With good conduct, a federal prisoner serves over 85% of his/her sentence as imposed by the judge.  Outside of truly extraordinary exceptions, there is no other form of early release.  This was clearly explained in the earlier thread on this subject.  Try to read and learn something before commenting. As for the reasonable punishment for the crimes Blogojevich committed, see yesterday's discussion.

    I stand corrected. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:21:58 AM EST
    I paid attention to this Trial and circus (none / 0) (#5)
    by samsguy18 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:46:08 PM EST
    I am not an attorney.....I live in Chicago and I am not a fan of Blagojevich..... even though our state is rotten with corruption I really  believed our justice system was fair.....not any more!