* Chicago criminal defense attorney Len Goodman, who is Lester Crown’s nephew, will be handling Rod Blagojevich’s appeal. Here’s what he told Crain’s about the case as he sees it now, although he admitted that he isn’t totally up to speed…
“The main issue at trial was — what was (Mr. Blagojevich’s) intent? This is a case about campaign contributions; he was not accused of stuffing his own pockets the way some other politicians do.
“The governor was part of a system in Illinois which required him to raise tens of millions of dollars to stay in office and which encouraged him to seek campaign contributions from persons who received business and benefits from the state. In that type of case, the defendant has to be given a full opportunity to present evidence of his intent, or what was in his head,” Mr. Goodman said in an email.
“That is what I am going to be looking at. Did the jury hear both sides of the story? Did they get a full picture? Or did they hear mostly just the evidence that the government wanted them to hear?”
Overturning all 18 guilty counts would be highly unusual, to say the least. What do you think of Goodman’s arguments?
Convicted political fundraiser and businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko will not spend any extra time in federal prison for a business fraud scheme after agreeing not to appeal his conviction in the case — or his conviction in a wider-ranging political corruption case.
U.S. District Judge James P. Zagel sentenced Rezko Thursday to 7½ years on charges he schemed to get a fraudulent loan to prop up his Papa John’s Pizza franchises in Illinois and Michigan.
But Zagel agreed to make the sentence concurrent with a 10½-year prison term Rezko received last month for corrupting state boards and state government under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
That means every day Rezko spends in prison will count toward both sentences.
That seems reasonable.
* And some lawyers are just willing to say anything, I suppose…
A Chicago man pleaded innocent Wednesday in the October murder of 14-year-old Kelli O’Laughlin in her Indian Head Park home. […]
O’Laughlin’s body was found Oct. 27 in her home. She had been stabbed in her neck, back and chest.
She had returned home from Lyons Township High School and surprised Wilson, prosecutors have said. After killing her, Wilson took her phone, they said, and used it to send taunting text messages to her mother.
After the hearing at the county courthouse in Bridgeview Wednesday, [Defense attorney John Paul Carroll] wondered whether the reason why he hasn’t received any case reports he subpoenaed on Dec. 5 from Indian Head Park Police and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office is because his client is black. [Emphasis added.]
I have no idea whether he’s right, but I kinda doubt it because he didn’t mention the race angle in front of the judge. Either way, let’s all hope this lawyer doesn’t try to turn the trial into a circus.