Blagojevich Attorneys Ask for Another Appeals Court Hearing - NBC Chicago
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Blagojevich Attorneys Ask for Another Appeals Court Hearing



    Blagojevich Lawyers Ask For New Trial in Latest Appeal

    In what many observers believe amounts to a legal Hail Mary, lawyers for former governor Rod Blagojevich appeared this morning before judges of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, asking that Blagojevich be given a new trial. NBC 5's Phil Rogers reports.

    (Published Tuesday, April 18, 2017)

    A month after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his 14-year prison sentence, lawyers for imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Friday asked for another hearing before the three-judge panel, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

    Appeals court records show Blagojevich’s attorney Leonard Goodman “submitted petition for rehearing” Friday, though the filing itself was not immediately available for public view.

    The same panel of judges overturned five of Blagojevich’s original 18 criminal convictions in July 2015, triggering a resentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge James Zagel last August.

    Blagojevich appeared via teleconference, and his daughters sobbed in the front row of Zagel’s courtroom as the judge dashed any hope of an early release for the imprisoned Democrat, handing him the same sentence he had been given in 2011.

    Blagojevich tried to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the country’s highest court refused to hear from him early last year. April’s opinion may have set Blagojevich up to make another pitch, though a different outcome for him is unlikely. 

    If the court refuses to hear from him the second time around, his only hope for freedom may be a pending commutation petition before President Donald Trump. The two men met on the set of Trump’s TV show “Celebrity Apprentice.”

    Before Blagojevich’s original sentencing in 2011, Trump said the conviction sounded like “just a lot of political stuff … more than pure corruption.”

    Blagojevich is due to be released from prison in 2024.

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