Rod Blagojevich, former Illinois governor, was sentenced on Tuesday, August 9. He was charged with a variety of corruption acts including trying to sell Barack Obama´s Illinois US Senate chair. The sentence was first announced as 14 years but was upheld after Blagojevich’s lawyer’s plea for 5 years. In the end, he was sentenced to the original 14 years by Judge James Zagel.
Of course, tears from his wife and daughters showed the devastation and anger they felt at the sentence. Robert Blagojevich, Rod’s brother, believes that Zagel´s sentence is wrong. "He was convicted. He's in prison. He's serving. He's admitted culpability and responsibility. How much can you squeeze out of a turnip? I don't know. He deserves a break," Robert Blagojevich said.
Patti Blagojevich expressed her devastation after hearing the sentence. With her two daughters Amy and Annie crying with her, she said, "From our point of view and from the point of view of thousands of people that have reached out to me over the last 4 years, we find his sentence unusually cruel and heartless and unfair. The judge clearly made up his mind before it even started."
Rod Blagojevich did not appear in person at the hearing on Tuesday. He was connected via a video link. His once raven hair has now grown white. Through the video link, he addressed the court apologizing to Zagel and expressing how he wished he would have done things differently.
"I recognize that it was my mistakes and my actions that led me here," Blagojevich said. "I wish I could find a way to turn the clock back and make different choice, but that is not possible. Among the mistakes I made is the way I fought back. Too many battles that have been fought in court I fought in public."
Blagojevich claimed that his legal situation has allowed him to grow in his faith.