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Judge Postpones Blago's Sentencing Date

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Judge Postpones Blago's Sentencing Date
Jack Higgins
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Judge James Zagel on Monday formally postponed Rod Blagojevich's sentencing date.

The former governor's Oct. 6 date was previously suspected of being pushed back because of a different trial scheduled to begin Oct. 3. Zagel also denied Blagojevich's request for a new trial.

No reasons were given for either decision in a brief message from Zagel in the court file.

Blagojevich's attorneys pushed for a third trial last month, arguing that Zagel stacked the deck in the government's favor, leading to his conviction.

Federal prosecutors moved against the retrial. They said Blagojevich deserves his punishment and should keep his appointment with the destiny he created.

In a 133-page filing, the lawyers for the government say that in asking for a new trial, Blagojevich “disregards what the evidence at trial established and what the jury concluded—that [the] defendant knowingly engaged in a scheme to abuse his power as Governor, in exchange for personal financial gain.”

The sentencing date was stricken until further order of the court, according to a message from Zagel.

Blagojevich was convicted on 17 of 20 corruption counts in his second trial, which ended in June.

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