Rod Blagojevich's Last Day of Freedom

Rod Blagojevich begins his 14 year prison sentence on Thursday. At 5 pm CST today, he will hold a press conference at his home. The next morning he will fly to Colorado with his attorney, and surrender at FCI Englewood, a low security level prison outside of Denver.

There will be many saying Blagojevich got his due. I think the sentence is too harsh. He's neither violent nor a safety threat, the conviction ended his public career and ostracized him. He's broke. His daughters will grow up without a father. One day he's here, next day he's not.

FCI Englewood is pretty decent for a prison. But it's still a prison and I doubt anything can prepare him for the lack of privacy, boredom and the strict regimentation he's about to experience.[More...]

I think Blago will make friends, If Celebrity Apprentice is any indication of his personality, he has a knack for getting along with people quite different than him. His tendency to be self-deprecating rather than arrogant will probably help. He'll have Enron's Jeffrey Skilling and several other white collar inmates to hang out with, but I won't be surprised if he prefers hanging out with the more ordinary inmates. They'll have more interesting stories to tell.

I suspect today we'll hear Blagojevich tell everyone he'll be okay. I doubt he will be sound bitter or angry. He'll want his daughters to be proud of him.

What I can't imagine is how he will cope with the reality of the length of his sentence when it sets in.

For a few years, he'll have the hope his appeal will overturn the convictions. If that's denied, he'll have hope for a habeas. But if that's denied and the denial is upheld, he's in for the long haul.

Here's the current admission and orientation handbook.

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    Well this saves (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 05:33:04 AM EST
    having to go after real criminal politicians like Bush or Cheney or a few other politicians I can think of.

    Blago gets effectively a life sentence and the peasants who pay for his incarceration get to be told that corruption in politics is unacceptable. How nice.

    I Would Add Bankers (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 09:57:20 AM EST
    And take politics out of the corruption line.

    Seems to me like the polarization of politics has brought back justice's vision.  We are so selective in who is prosecuted that it's impossible to know they will go after and who they will shrug their shoulders at.

    Blaggo get 14 years, yet Abramoff is out writing a book and he actually gained enormously from his corruption.  Ditto for nearly every corrupt Bush era politician, except Cunninham who has a year or two left.  

    Blaggo will be in for 3 more Presidential elections.


    waste (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by koshembos on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 07:54:13 AM EST
    There are many way to punish non dangerous convicted individuals. We decided on the most expensive, least constructive, distructive, foolish and vengeful one.

    It fit the current state of our culture.

    I'll be the third or fourth to add that his (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by tigercourse on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 12:03:48 PM EST
    sentence really seemed like a huge ammount of time for what he was convicted of doing. He didn't seem to do much worse then saying he could potentially sell the seat, which hardly shocks the conscience.

    Hmmm.... (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 01:06:57 PM EST
    He was found guilty on 17 of 20 counts of corruption for multiple actions.  This wasn't just one conversation he had making an off-hand remark like "Hey, what do I get if I get Valerie Jarrett the Senate seat?"  It's a bit more detailed than that.

    And maybe, sadly, it doesn't "shock the conscience" because we are so used to all of our politicians being corrupt slimeballs.  Which is sad. But that doesn't mean he deserves a slap on the wrist and should be allowed to skip along on his merry way, either.


    Agreed (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by sj on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 01:36:44 PM EST
    But I think there is a reasonable punishment that sits somewhere between "a slap on wrist" and 14 years.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 02:37:02 PM EST
    But 17 felony counts?  I dunno if 14 years is too harsh,  but 1 year wouldn't nearly be enough.

    Jbinc, you are limited to four comments (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 03:12:00 PM EST
    in this thread, per comment rules.

    Sure (none / 0) (#21)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 03:37:38 PM EST
    But since you yourself have repeatedly posted that "commenters do not speak for Talk Left", I'm not sure what you are afraid of when an actual discussion takes place - you know  - when other points of view are presented for analysis?

    There is no way you can say I said anything objectionable.  But I will not comment further on your criminal posts because it is too hard to be a cheerleader for convicted felons, especially when one is not allowed to point out the obvious - namely, that they ARE convicted felons.


    I Agree... (none / 0) (#22)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 04:29:47 PM EST
    ...sometimes the 'rules' get evoked far too easily and always when they are in disagreement with the post.  It's good when the person makes the same argument over and over, but in this case I would like to hear they why's of your post.

    But I disagree with the argument.  I leave it at that since you can't reply.  

    Food for thought:

    A friend of mine fresh out of college in the Boston area was hired as a hotel manager.  When she started there was this articulate old man working as a baggage boy who didn't fit it.  She later found out was mayor (I believe) found guilty of corruption and was a convicted felon who was in Prison.


    JBinc (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 02:52:13 AM EST
    Our commenting rules state:

       TalkLeft will limit commenters to four comments a day if, in its sole discretion, the commenter is a "chatterer," loosely defined as one who both holds opposing views from those expressed by TalkLeft and:

        Posts numerous times a day and .... repeatedly makes the same point with the effect of annoying other commenters. (i.e. is a blog-clogger)

    Your views on crime issues are always directly contrary to the principles and views of this site. You are free to state them a few times, but you may not keep doing it over and over. I would be very happy if you didn't comment on my criminal posts at all. I personally find your views very objectionable and do not care to host them. It does happen to be my site.


    Sympathy (none / 0) (#1)
    by kmblue on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 04:21:35 AM EST
    for the devil.

    Jeralyn I question why such a harsh sentence (none / 0) (#4)
    by samsguy18 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 08:46:44 AM EST
    Corruption here in Illinois among our politicians is rampant....

    It is rampant in Illinois (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 11:00:54 AM EST
    & has been for a very long time, almost institutionalized.  

    That is why I have less of a problem with the sentence.  Having lived there, something needs to be done to at least make the politicians think twice.


    Yes. On the one hand (none / 0) (#16)
    by Towanda on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 01:05:46 PM EST
    it may seem unfair, in a political environment in which so many of his predecessors also are in prison.

    On the other hand, when so many governors of Illinois go to prison, it ought to have occurred to politicians that history and human nature would predict a breaking point and a backlash.


    This is kind of what I assume (none / 0) (#27)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 12:44:04 PM EST
    I mean its grossly unfair to Blago but on the other hand he's the second consecutive governor to go to prison perhaps the people of Illinois are getting a little fed up.

    And he embarrassed Obama (none / 0) (#28)
    by Towanda on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 04:27:25 PM EST
    who was trying to escape the Chicago politics smear.  That's at the core of going after Blago, I think.

    Some of The People Vs... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 09:31:05 AM EST
    not in my name jack, not in my name.

    Punishment to fit the crime has been replaced by punishment to always exceed the crime.

    Too general. Local community college (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 11:13:03 AM EST
    Politicos got probation and restitution order to repay @ $100/ month.  Ridiculous.

    What they do? (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 11:31:43 AM EST
    Embezzle?  If all the cash gets paid back, whats the problem with that?  Aside from the same type sentence not being given to non-politico thieves?

    Link: (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 11:47:09 AM EST
    Mostly. (none / 0) (#9)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 11:13:38 AM EST
    Punishment to fit the crime has been replaced by punishment to always exceed the crime.

    except in the case of elected officials.


    Um (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 11:16:05 AM EST
    I realized after writing the above that Blago was an elected official.
    I was thinking of people like Bush and Cheney who slaughtered hundreds of thousands and stole from everybody.

    Maybe you have to really kill a lot of people to be let off the hook.


    That's a relief... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 11:30:12 AM EST
    thought you were defending Draconia;)

    Sentence looks harsh (none / 0) (#13)
    by Babel 17 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 11:44:45 AM EST
    His sentence looks harsh to me also.

    I think his sentencing is interesting in that it reflects some of the current controversy that's recently been in the media regarding plea bargaining.

    Blagojevich, imo, had been acting out of the blissful state of empowerment and immunity that so many of our most powerful and influential citizens exhibit.

    That doesn't excuse his actions but it goes to explaining why he didn't eagerly grab at a plea bargain.

    I don't think he deserves retribution by way of his sentencing for wanting to defend himself.

    14 years??!! For what??? (none / 0) (#24)
    by DeportRumsfeld on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 11:37:50 PM EST
    To clarify: I am NOT a Blago fan. I am a Democrat, although I do not enjoy/endorse idiots like RB in our party. HOWEVER: Jack Abramoff gets a 6 year sentence, after all of the horrors that "Black Jack"
    Abramoff perpetrated (the list is too long to include here. If you guys don't know, you should not be on this site). Meanwhile, Bush, Rove, Addington, Rummy, and best of all Cheney all roam the land with their pockets stuffed with money oozing with blood.

    14 years? Tell me for what? For being an idiot? Blago was wiretapped having a convo about selling the Senate seat, but did he actually SELL IT? in other words, did he break the law? Answer: No.