Blagojevich: sentencing hearing, day 2
Nearly 3 years after his arrest, Rod Blagojevich will make a statement today before a judge decides the ex-governor's punishment for convictions on 18 total corruption and fraud counts. Tribune reporter Annie Sweeney tweets from the courthouse.
Ousted Gov. Rod Blagolevich said little as he and his wife Patti left their Ravenswood Manor home this morning on their way to the federal courthouse where he will be sentenced on corruption charges.
Blagojevich walked down the front steps hand in hand with his wife around 9:20 a.m. and bid the crush of reporters a good morning as they shouted questions at him.
They both got into a dark car, and the former governor waved to reporters and neighbors as it pulled away.
Day Two of the sentencing hearing has begun. U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald was in attendance in the courtroom as the hearing resumed.
Prosecutors are beginning their arguments to a federal judge on why Rod Blagojevich should be handed a stiff sentence, disputing defense claims that the former governor's actions never hurt anyone.
Prosecutor Reid Schar said Blagojevich held up funding to every hospital in the state for 30 days and held up an appointment to the Senate seat while crucial votes were being taken.
Schar says what Blagojevich did "eroded" public confidence in government.
Blagojevich is expected to address the judge before learning his punishment for corruption convictions that include trying to sell an appointment to President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.
Blagojevich's attorneys admitted for the first time Tuesday that he's guilty of corruption, but said the sentence of 15 to 20 years prosecutors want is too harsh.
Ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich told a federal judge at his sentencing hearing this morning that he accepts his guilt and is sorry.
Before speaking, Blagojevich rose in the crowded courtroom, told his wife his loves her and approached the podium.
"I want to apologize to people of Illinois, to the court, for the mistakes I have made...I never set out to break the law. I never set out to cross lines,” the former governor told U.S. District Judge James Zagel.
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