[UPDATED] Blago's Legal Team Weasels Him Out Of Some Convictions On Appeal
By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jul 21, 2015 8:00PM
An appeals court just overturned several of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich's convictions, the Associated Press reports.
Updated 5:30 p.m.The appellate court threw out five counts against Blagojevich, the Sun-Times reports. Blagojevich is likely to be resentenced, but the court ruled that he cannot be released from prison while he awaits a resentencing.
Blagojevich was accused of trying to exchange an appointment to now-President Barack Obama's old Senate seat for campaign money or a political patronage job. But a costly federal investigation and lengthy trial in Chicago ended in a hung jury and mistrial in 2010 on all but one count. The mistrial left some to say, in Blagojevich's defense, that he was on trial for stupidity more so than corruption. A second jury convicted him on all but three of 20 counts.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals released its ruling Tuesday after reviewing an appeal from Blagojevich that argued his talks around the senate seat were legal, "run-of-the-mill political horse-trading," according to the AP. The appeal also accused Judge James Zagel, who proceeded over the trial, of committing trial errors. The 7th Circuit is notorious for being tough on conviction appeals, so the ruling in Blagojevich's favor surprised some Tuesday.