30 Years Not Likely for Blago - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

30 Years Not Likely for Blago



    Sheldon Sorovsky was asked about a rumored 30 year sentence recommendation for Rod Blagojevich. He said it's cruel and not appropriate. Not to mention it's supposed to be sealed. (Published Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011)

    Rod Blagojevich's top defense attorney Sheldon Sorovsky thinks his client is a good candidate for probation.

    "He has no record, he has two young children and he did not get a dime and he never intended to do anything wrong," Sorovsky said Thursday in downtown Chicago.

    Sorovsky made the statements in response to a rumor that prosecutors planned to send a sentencing recommendation to Judge James Zagel asking for more than 30 years in prison for the convicted former governor.

    "It's cruel, it's mean-spirited, it's ridiculous," he said.

    Rumors about a potential government sentencing guideline bubbled up Wednesday evening when a source told the Chicago Sun Times that the prosecution would ask for the hefty sentence.

    Whether its true remains to be seen. The process is supposed to be secret, and prosecutors are tasked with sending a sealed recommendation to the judge in the case.

    The prosecution issued a clarifying statement Thursday:

    “The government has not recommended a sentence publicly or privately, not withstanding news reports to the contrary," according to the statement. "The government has submitted a calculation of the advisory sentencing guidelines, as it is required to do in all cases.  The sentencing guideline formulas are established by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.  The government submitted that calculation to the probation office as is standard practice and we will not comment on those calculations publicly.”

    Trial expert Patrick Collins thinks the sentence will be less than 30, but possibly 10, depending on how Blagojevich acts during the sentencing hearing.

    "I think Judge Zagel who has ultimate discretion is not going to give Rod Blagojevich 30 years," Patrick Collins.

    For context, former Governor George Ryan recieved 6 1/2 years.