Blagojevich Found Guilty on Most Counts

Posted on June 27, 2011

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ERIN CARSON

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was found guilty on Monday of 17 counts related to corruption while in office. The most notable allegation was that he tried to sell then President-Elect Barack Obama’s vacant senate seat.

Federal agents reportedly caught Blagojevich on tape attempting to sell the senate seat in exchange for money and/ or political favors.

Blagojevich was found guilty on 17 of the 20 counts against him, including wire fraud, attempted extortion, soliciting bribes, conspiracy to commit extortion and conspiracy to solicit and accept bribes.

The most serious offense alone could earn him 20 years in federal prison. The former democratic governor once had hopes of running for president. Now his biggest job will likely be explaining to his two young daughters where he is going and why.

The jury in the first trial could not reach an agreement on most counts, but this jury convicted him on almost all counts in ten days. Experts credit the shift to the prosecution’s new, more straight-forward approach that is easier for everyday people to understand.

This trial and the testimony that resulted shed light on what people consider the notoriously corrupt Chicago political scene.

The jury forewoman told the New York Times, “There’s a lot of bargaining that goes on behind the scenes — we do that in our everyday lives, in business and everything, but I think in the instances when it is someone representing the people, it crosses the line. And I think we sent a pretty clear message on that.”

After sentencing Blagojevich will likely be the fourth governor of Illinois in recent history to go to prison.

Blagojevich and his lawyers have until next month to request a new trial.

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Posted in: National