Blagojevich wants a new trial or another resentencing hearing

An ABC7 I-Team investigation

ByRoss Weidner WLS logo
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
In this March 14, 2012, file photo, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks to the media outside his home in Chicago.
AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In a brief filed late Tuesday, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich claimed a judge should have considered his "extraordinary post-offense rehabilitation" in his resentencing hearing earlier this summer.

The disgraced former governor's lawyer said he has become a "model prisoner" who teaches Civil War and World War II history behind bars.

In the 86-page brief, the ex-governor's lawyers claimed the more than 100 inmate letters in support of Blagojevich should have been considered on resentencing because inmates wrote that he "sought nothing in return for his good deeds. Or, in the prison vernacular, defendant has 'no hustle.'"

The brief claims that Blagojevich "apologized to his family and to the court for prior disrespectful behavior", but prosecutors in court in August claimed that apology for "mistakes" still lacked an admission of responsibility for his crimes.

Blagojevich's attorney wrote that the district court's "dismissal of compelling evidence of public service in prison" missed the point of his arguments for a lesser sentence.

"Defendant was required to be a prisoner and to perform certain jobs or chores. But there was no requirement that he provide service to and uplift his fellow inmates. Defendant could easily have stayed out of trouble in prison while keeping to himself and concerning himself solely with the interests of himself and his family. He chose a different course," the argument states, seeking yet another sentencing hearing.

The brief also contains several arguments regarding the seriousness of the crimes Blagojevich was convicted of, citing examples of what it calls "erroneous factual" findings relating to whether or not Blagojevich actually offered President Barack Obama's Senate seat to former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.

In the filing's conclusion, Blagojevich's attorney asked for a "reversal of his conviction and sentence, remand for a new trial, or for a new sentencing hearing."