Rod Blagojevich’s day of reckoning will be Oct. 6.
If everything goes according to current plans, that will be the date of the Blagojevich sentencing, a day when Blagojevich will have the opportunity to present witnesses offering a different view than the one presented by prosecutors at trial.
“Judge Zagel has indicated he has not made up his mind, and he is interested in knowing all the good deeds Blagojevich may have done as governor,” said defense attorney Sheldon Sorosky. “So, we’re going to try to present that to the judge.”
Sorosky said Blagojevich “absolutely” will address the court himself.
That is always a delicate moment for defendants who have insisted on their innocence, especially if they took the stand in their own defense. On the one hand, they have argued that they did not commit the crimes, then they are put in the position of expressing remorse for the very crimes they said they did not commit.
In Blagojevich’s case, sentencing at the hands of Judge James Zagel will also come on the heels of a 158-page motion, where the former governor and his lawyers argued that Zagel had his "thumb on the scales of justice” and that the judge’s rulings skewed heavily in favor of the prosecution.
“The motion basically states that we believe that many of Gov. Blagojevich’s constitutional rights were violated at trial, and that therefore he should receive a new trial,” Sorosky said.
Indeed, Blagojevich and his lawyers said categorically that Zagel had reneged on a promise to let Blagojevich testify to his own good intent. In his motion for a new trial, Blagojevich filed an affidavit stating that had he known he would not be allowed to make such claims, he never would have taken the stand.
“His defense to these charges is that he was operating in good faith at all times,” said attorney Lauren Kaeseberg. “And he should have been able to testify to that effect, tell the jury that he operated under good faith and the reasons that he believed he was operating in good faith.”
“And he wasn’t able to do that, and we believe that was not fair.”