The Latest: Blagojevich’s wife asks judge for leniency


CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the resentencing of ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (all times local):

9:05 a.m.

The wife of Rod Blagojevich is asking a federal judge for leniency ahead of a ruling on whether to reduce the 14-year prison term of the former Illinois governor.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge James Zagel contained in court documents filed Monday, Patti Blagojevich wrote she is “pleading, indeed begging” that her husband be freed.

Blagojevich also recounted the milestones her husband has missed with their two daughters since being incarcerated in 2012.

A resentencing hearing is scheduled Tuesday in Chicago federal court after an appeals court struck down five of his 18 convictions. The 59-year-old Democrat will appear at the hearing via a video link.

Zagel also received a letter from Blagojevich’s father-in-law, former Chicago Alderman Richard Mell.

Prosecutors want Zagel to impose the same term, saying Blagojevich doesn’t deserve leniency.

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8:55 a.m.

Rod Blagojevich’s Jailhouse Rockers may have disbanded but their memory lives on in the ex-Illinois governor’s resentencing case.

A federal judge will decide Tuesday whether to cut Blagojevich’s 14-year prison sentence on 13 of 18 convictions upheld by an appellate court, including that he sought to exchange an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat for campaign cash.

The defense has asked for a five-year term, citing the dropped counts and Blagojevich’s exemplary prison behavior. They even pointed to how Blagojevich, an Elvis Presley fan, formed a prison band called “The Jailhouse Rockers.” The group had a 21-song play list, and Blagojevich was the lead singer.

It dissolved after the lead guitarist was released.

Blagojevich went to prison in 2012.

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1:15 a.m.

A federal judge is set to decide whether to cut the 14-year prison term given to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich after an appellate court threw out several of his corruption convictions.

A resentencing hearing is scheduled Tuesday in Chicago federal court. The 59-year-old Democrat will appear on a courtroom screen at the hearing in Chicago via a video link from his Colorado prison It will be his first public appearance since he entered prison in 2012.

Blagojevich was originally sentenced in 2011, following his conviction for trying to exchange an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat for campaign cash.

An appeals court ordered a resentencing after striking down five of his 18 convictions.