Five of Blagojevich Convictions Overturned by 7th Circuit

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CHICAGO – The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago released its ruling on Tuesday, July 21 overturning five of 18 convictions for former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

The appeals court overturned five of the corruption convictions in his trials that had a total of 18 corruption counts. Blagojevich is currently serving a 14-year sentence in a Colorado prison.

Eleven of Blagojevich’s charges came as a result of his attempts to exchange an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat for campaign funds or a job. Blagojevich said in his appeal that he had engaged in “legal, run-of-the-mill political horse trading.” This appeal also alleged errors by trial Jude James Zagel.

The 7th Circuit is well-known for not often voiding convictions. Prosecutors have the option of appealing the ruling or retrying Blagojevich on the dropped counts.

This ruling could result in a shorter sentence than the 58-year-old’s original 14 years, but the court did say the sentence was not necessarily too high.

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