* Funny, but not quite true…
Now the greedy governor faces up to 300 years in prison — longer than the life spans of Kipling, Tennyson and Elvis combined.
* More likely…
According to the Associated Press, the convictions carry a combined maximum prison sentence of around 300 years, but legal experts say a federal judge is likely to send him away for around a decade, give or take a few years.
But Blagojevich, when sentenced later this year, could be awarded 10 to 15 years in jail, according to other legal experts.
* Also plausible…
“Somewhere between six and 11 years. The sentencing guidelines by the United States Sentencing Commission have a mathematical formula. You punch in who he is, what he did, whether drugs were involved-which they weren’t - weapons, etc. and it gives you a range the judge will be able to sentence him. I think it will be a range somewhere between six and seven on the bottom and 11 on the top,” said Prof. Richard Kling, Kent College of Law.
George Ryan got 6 and a half years.
A status hearing is set for August 11th. A sentencing hearing schedule could be set then.
* The Trib lays it out…
Before Blagojevich is sentenced, a probation officer using federal sentencing guidelines will calculate the range of punishment faced by Blagojevich. Then prosecutors and Blagojevich’s lawyers will argue about why more time should be added or shaved off.
Since the sentencing guidelines were made advisory and not mandatory about six years ago, Zagel has wide discretion to impose the sentence he thinks is just and fair.
“It’s the essential judgment call,” said former federal prosecutor Dean Polales, who is now a criminal-defense attorney. “The burden is entirely on him.”
Among the factors to be weighed are criminal history, the nature and circumstance of the offense, and the need for deterrence. Judges often also consider family circumstances.
The government will be certain to raise Blagojevich’s breach of the public trust as well as the pervasive culture of corruption that swirled around his administration, Loeb said.
And if he continues to insist he’s innocent? Bad things will happen come sentencing time. Remorseless convicts are rarely given a judicial break.
Also, just think of the deterrence factor if he did get 300 years. That’d make folks think twice, I’d wager.
* But, first, there’s the matter of his bond…
Convicted of 18 felonies, including the lying charge from a year ago, Blagojevich will be required to post additional bond to remain free. He is likely to put up the remaining equity he has in his Ravenswood home and a half-million dollar condo in Washington. Details will be worked out within the next week at a meeting between his attorneys and prosecutors.
“There’ll be some paperwork that needs to be filled out in terms of his ability to post those things in a forfeiture agreement that he’ll sign and they’ll secure his bond,” said Reid Schar, assistant U.S. Attorney.
There are the post trial motions due four weeks from Monday on July 25. Among them: whether a Blagojevich request to remain free on bond as his appeal is considered. He would have to show a compelling reason that his appeal is likely to succeed, a standard difficult to meet. It didn’t succeed for ex-governor George Ryan.
* And then the appeal itself…
Blagojevich lawyers will argue the conviction should be reversed because the ex-governor wasn’t allowed to play certain tapes.
His first attorney, Sam Adam Jr., is likely to help prepare the appeal that could take months.
“He was not able to corroborate his own innocence with the tapes that we know and that they wanted to put in that show he was not committing a crime. I think we’ll see that in the Seventh Circuit, I think we’ll see that on the appeal, and I think he’ll end up vindicated,” said Adams Jr.
* Scott Fawell, speaking from experience, offers some sound advice…
Rod will face a different world once he starts prison life. The clothes he wears, his living quarters, his roommates and the food he eats will be decided not by him, but by the Bureau of Prisons . He won’t be Gov. Blagojevich to the prison guards. He’ll be a prisoner with a prison registration number that ends with 424, the “Chicago” designation. His every movement will be limited and watched at all times by the guards and security cameras. He will be given a job earning 12 cents an hour working in the kitchen, as an orderly or on the prison landscaping crew. His communications with loved ones will be limited. He will be allowed 300 phone minutes a month to call home. Three hundred minutes, which averages out to 10 minutes a day. Barely time to say hello, and certainly not enough time to hear about the kids’ school play or deal with even the smallest family crisis. Those matters must wait for visiting day, which may be only one or two weekends a month. Not a lot of time to stay connected.
Daily prison life can be made easier or more difficult depending on your attitude and demeanor. Follow the rules, don’t rock the boat, be respectful of the staff and your life can be bearable. Be arrogant, obnoxious and disrespectful, and the guards and staff can and will make your life a living hell. This is not an environment where independent thought, discussion or actions are encouraged. It’s the BOP’s game, on its court, playing by its rules. You learn quickly to play ball or you pay a price. I was given this piece of advice by an old friend who had been in federal prison: “Check your ego and personality at the door when you check in, and pick them back up on the way out.” It was sound advice. […]
It’s essential that you stay mentally strong. You can make the time bearable or you can let it eat away at you. It’s really only up to you. While I can’t say prison wasn’t difficult and certainly challenging at times, I can say prison is not the end. Rod, here’s some unsolicited advice. Go serve your time quietly, get out and then just move on with your life.
I just can’t see him doing that.
…Adding… I agree with Betty…
When Betty Loren-Maltese caught glimpses of Rod Blagojevich preening for the cameras during his corruption trial last year, one thought kept coming back to her: This guy is not ready for prison.
Loren-Maltese, the former town president of Cicero, is an expert on the subject. After being convicted in 2002 of helping bilk her town out of $12 million, she spent seven years in federal custody before gaining her freedom last year.
Though she thinks Blagojevich toned down his celebrity act during the second trial, Loren-Maltese still wonders how he’ll adjust to the stark, often humiliating existence behind bars.
“Most people have a fixed opinion of politicians,” she said. “A lot of prisoners feel (politicians) might even be responsible for them being in prison. I don’t think it’ll be easy for him, but it’ll definitely change his attitude and make him realize he’s not the king.”
* Prison wouldn’t mean end of locks for Blagojevich
* Blagojevich likely to lose state pension, keep federal perk: Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich stands to lose a $65,000-a-year state pension as a felon, but he’s likely to be eligible for $15,000 a year in federal retirement pay for his time as a congressman. The defrocked Democrat also would be eligible for a refund of about $128,000 in personal contributions he made to the state’s retirement fund.