“Serious crimes” keep Corrupt Illinois figure in prison

GradelS15Inmate No. 40892-424, better known as former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, had hoped to he would be able to return home early.

Those hopes were dashed by a the federal judge today, who decided to maintain a 14-year sentence on the grounds that Blagojevich had committed “serious crimes that had an impact on the people of Illinois.”

Blagojevich has been characterized by the authors of Corrupt Illinois: Patronage, Cronyism, and Criminality as “the face of Illinois corruption.”

Thomas J. Gradel and Dick Simpson are likely to agree with the judge’s assessment of Blagojevich’s actions.  They write in Corrupt Illinois, “These were not victimless crimes, as some Blagojevich apologists maintain. We were all his victims(p. 40).”

Blagojevich received a new sentencing hearing after an appeals court struck down five of his 18 convictions on charges related to his abuse of the governor’s power to appoint the replacement for Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat.

The judge’s decision to uphold the length of the sentence is only the most recent disappointment for the former governor.  According to the Associated Press, “Blagojevich, an Elvis Presley fan, formed a prison band called ‘The Jailhouse Rockers.’ The group, which had a 21-song play list, dissolved after the lead guitarist was released.”

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