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Mid-afternoon Blagojevich thread - He’s looking at 415 years

Thursday, Jun 3, 2010

* Wrap your brain around this

…Blago’s playing for up to 415 years in prison and $6 million in fines — the maximum sentence if he’s convicted on each of the 24 counts of fraud, conspiracy, bribery and racketeering of which he’s accused.

415 years. How fitting.

* Watch the strangeoids who show up to cheer the goofball near the end of this video

* This is trivial, but it’s still an interesting insight into how the media thinks

With no sign of huge crowds yet, Judge James Zagel has decided to keep the trial in his courtroom on the 25th floor, as opposed to moving it to a larger space. So far, the media, which includes more than 20 television cameras bunched up in the “bullpen” in the lobby, are buzzing about two things while it waits for the trial to start: The ambiguity over Zagel’s permission of smart-phone usage in the courtroom and how unimpressive the crowd is.

Maybe they don’t want to look like doofuses.

* I kinda feel sorry for Rob

Jury selection began in the case of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich today — and not surprisingly, all seven potential jurors questioned so far said they had heard something about the case.

One woman said she watched a reality TV show involving “Mrs. Blagojevich,” referring to Patti Blagojevich’s stint last year on “I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here!”

“Something about some bugs or something?” the woman said to U.S. District Judge James Zagel. Rod Blagojevich laughed and turned to look at Patti, who was sitting in the front row.

His brother, Rob, who is also on trial and sitting behind the ex-governor, was not smiling.

Check back later this afternoon for our first post from the BGA.

* Related…

* Tribune live-blog

* Chicago News Cooperative live-blog

* Rod Blagojevich Scandal: Who’s Who

* Sun-Times live-blog

* Sun-Times Blagojevich Twitter Page

* AP Blagojevich Trial Twitter Page

* #Blagojevich on Twitter

* Susan Berger’s Live Tweets from the trial

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 2:41 pm:

    Wonder if the ‘protesters’ will be circulating Cohen petitions later?

  2. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 2:45 pm:

    Maybe people such as the owner of the blog, should abstain and/or refrain from comments since he has a serious dislike for this man! Inside that people, and from the US DOJ, even him is not guilty until he is convicted! So comment in 3-4 months, when he will be convicted!

  3. - Scooby - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 2:48 pm:

    Um, grammar fail anon. What?

  4. - Secret Square - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 2:49 pm:

    Maybe the 415 years includes time spent in purgatory, or in the vestibule of Hades (see Dante’s Inferno), or being reincarnated as one of the rats in his alley, or some other form of appropriate afterlife punishment?

  5. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 2:50 pm:

    Anon, bite me. How’s that for refraining myself?

  6. - OneMan - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 2:50 pm:

    Having seen anon’s comment it also looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

  7. - Mammacat - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 2:53 pm:

    LOL at Rich! I can’t wait for the circus to get started!

  8. - unspun - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 2:55 pm:

    Would that 415 years run consecutively or concurrently? Uh….nevermind. What is the half-life for hair?

  9. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 2:58 pm:

    Why would you feel sorry for Rob? He dug his own grave

  10. - Anonymiss - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:01 pm:

    >>“Something about some bugs or something?”

    No, ma’am, we’re not talking about the tapes yet.

  11. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:02 pm:

    I predict Rod will make the same kind of deal he used to with the budget and plea bargain down to 150 years. Then he’ll tell us how much he’s looking forward to getting out of prison and becoming governor again. Dufus!

  12. - Bill - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:08 pm:

    Who you callin a strangeoid?

  13. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:11 pm:

    As an attorney who’s done a little bit of criminal work, I have a personal pet peeve when the media comes up with a number like 415 years, presumably by just adding up the maximum on each count. It’s overly simplistic and completely inaccurate to do that, but it sounds sexy. Federal Sentencing Guidelines are incredibly complex, but they never, ever result in someone getting a sentence like the media suggests in these instances. A better practice would be to consult with an attorney who works in sentencing to give them a realistic range based on the charged offenses.

  14. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:11 pm:

    I am experiencing the same nausea that I experienced when he was Governor…I cannot forgive anyone who enabled this jerk…

  15. - Really?? - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:13 pm:

    I wonder if all of those people were cheering Blago on, or there for the freak show nature of it all? I’m sure some of them are fans, but probably not all of them.

  16. - Mongo - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:16 pm:

    I have lived in Illinois a long time.

    This guy was a bad Governor, never leading.

    This guy sure appears to be a bad guy, usually only doing something because of what he thinks he can gain personally from it.

    I met this guy and talked about a great piece of legislation for people with disabilities which he vetoed and he said he was afraid of taxing the public.

    The damage he has caused to the State, the damage he has caused to the human services delivery systems, the decade or so he has set us back, is worth 415 years.

    I know he is innocent until proven guilty. So towards that end, I imagine he won’t be convicted on all 24 counts. But I will cheer mightily upon the day of his well-earned conviction.

  17. - A.B. - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:17 pm:

    Sad when our governor is faced with a sentence that is almost twice as long as the age of our nation.

  18. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:19 pm:

    - media comes up with a number like 415 years, presumably by just adding up the maximum on each count. -

    Presumably? It says very clearly where that number came from. Maybe the media doesn’t want to get billed for an hour of your time every time they need a sentence prediction.

  19. - Bluefish - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:19 pm:

    Really?? - Since the Jerry Springer show moved out east his former audience needs something to stimulate them. They can’t all go work for Scott Lee Cohen.

  20. - Pickles!! - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:28 pm:

    That means Blago wouldn’t be out of prison til the year 2425.

  21. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:29 pm:

    …If man is still alive.

  22. - Wacker Drive - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:30 pm:

    I don’t care how much Rod and Patti want to spin this into an UP day.
    It isn’t!
    Look at them, they’re visibly very nervous.

  23. - Secret Square - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:30 pm:

    The BBC reports that Blago’s potential fines add up to 4.1 million pounds sterling. Not sure how much that would be in euros or whatever the Serbian currency is….

    While we’re on the topic of foreign conversions and meaningless maximum prison sentences, Blago’s max prison term works out to more than 1,600 years on Mercury (its “year” is only 88 Earth days), about 200 years on Mars (1 Martian year = 686 Earth days), and less than 2 years on Pluto (1 Plutonian year = 248 Earth years). Anyone know how long it would be in dog years?

  24. - Peggy SO-IL - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:45 pm:

    This should be a pass the popcorn time for the IL GOP, but they’re pretty inept it seems.

    I’ll start popping mine in any case. CNN needs to get Greta back w/that skinny guy w/glasses and do evening review of the court events of the day! Just like old times.

    I hope Rod takes at least half the machine down with him, including some current residing in DC.

  25. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:48 pm:

    Yeah, but with time off for good behavior, he’ll be out in 352 years.

  26. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:53 pm:

    ===I hope Rod takes at least half the machine down with him, including some current residing in DC. ===

    Yep. There it is. Note to y’all: The Machine and the Obama types wanted nothing to do with the guy. He will only take himself down.

  27. - Deluxe - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 3:59 pm:

    Real-Reality is going set in for Rod in the next week or so…..
    He thinks he’s a rockstar.
    To funny!

  28. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 4:12 pm:

    . . . If Blago can survive.

  29. - Really?? - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 4:12 pm:

    =…If man is still alive.=

    I’m sure he thinks he will still be alive then. He is a superhero after all!

  30. - Wacker Drive - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 4:18 pm:

    Being in court almost everyday and remaining silent is going drive Rod crazy. It’s going to be like real work and he’s not use to real work.

  31. - dupage dan - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 4:39 pm:

    Loop Lady,

    =…I cannot forgive anyone who enabled this jerk… =

    Does that include anybody who voted for him?

  32. - Boone Logan Square - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 5:30 pm:

    I don’t so much feel sorry for Rob as bewildered that Patti isn’t facing charges.

  33. - blogginblago - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 5:37 pm:

    I am so glad I am attending the trial firsthand! im sur ethe media is well intentioned - but they are gonna put the spin on the news that moves the crowd…heck one potential juror was asked if he was influenced by the news on this case, and he noted that he had been on a grand jury for 18 mths and he realized that the media gave it a good shot, but was only half right in reporting the facts….im reading the posts for reporters (most of whom I was standing right next to)…honestly, its been only a few chuckles and Rod was pretty serious for the most part. Zagel is runing a pretty tight ship - I mean gosh it is federal court!

    My only problem is that the media takes up half the available space and you can count the number of folks on one hand who were who members of the media that took up the last few available spaces. (becasue those without passes were in line was early as 630AM) Senior citizens and others arriving after the tickets were passed out had to sit in the ‘overflow’ with access to sound only - now that’s where the media should be!

  34. - Zager - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 6:32 pm:

    Give him years, 15 to 25,
    If Rod is still alive
    If his hairline can survive, we will find…

    Read the counts, 24 or 25,
    of things ’bout which Rod lied.
    He took from this state all it could give,
    And he ain’t put back nothin’ oh no…

    Now it’s been just 6 short years
    Blago reigned but lookit here:
    the state’s in trouble dear
    9 billion plus we’re in arrears…

    But thru the early night
    he surfs to see the sight
    of cameras tracking him
    he dreams he still can win….


  35. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 6:48 pm:

    Sure glad the BGA is providing coverage of the trial for you Rich. Those updates are great, really informative for those of us not lucky enough to be at the trial ourselves.

    I can’t wait for the next BGA update.

  36. - Five for Indicting - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 6:56 pm:

    It’s ‘83 for a moment;
    Got my J.D,. and it took a bit of work to pass that test,
    cause Pepperdine’s not much into stress.

    It’s ‘84 for a moment;
    Clerking for Ed, ’cause I married Patti, gee,
    it’s nice her dad, took me aside to teach me politics.

    15, I got more to go,
    time inside here runs so slow,
    with good behavior, out in ten…
    …maybe not too old to try to run again?

    It’s ‘85 for a moment:
    I’m prosecuting some cases
    working for a lesser Daley,
    at 26th and Cal…

    2010 is when I’ll be
    President, you wait and see!
    State rep, congressman, then run
    for governor, just for the fun
    Nothing will stop, me from DC;
    for President is now my destiny!

    First term goes by:
    Suddenly they’re wise,
    Mike gives me the eye,
    but now the budget is gone.
    I got graft to gather:
    We’re moving on…

    It’s 2012 for a moment:
    The kids look big, when they visit
    and I’m stuck in here, dreaming,
    about where I chose to make it all go so wrong…

    15 years, in federal pen,
    old when I get out again.
    it is my wish to see tv…
    I wonder if they still talk smack ’bout me?

  37. - Park - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 8:07 pm:

    So BBC is reporting the story worldwide. How nice for Illinois. Wonder what they think of Pattie defending the indefensible. Probably ‘who are these people to elect someone like this?’

  38. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 3, 10 @ 9:52 pm:

    RE: Rod and the max — 415 years and $6M… I’d settle for half.

  39. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 4, 10 @ 7:25 am:

    –I cannot forgive anyone who enabled this jerk…–

    About 1.7 million Illinoisans will not be included in Loop Lady’s prayers this week.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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