Blagojevich Gets 14-Year Sentence; Will Join Ex-Gov. Ryan Behind Bars


A contrite former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in federal prison. He will join ex-Gov. George Ryan, serving 6 1/2 years for corruption, behind bars when he surrenders on Feb. 16, notes the Chicago Tribune. Four former governors in the state have been imprisoned in the past 35 years. “When it is the governor who goes bad, the fabric of Illinois is torn and disfigured and not easily repaired,” U.S. District Judge James Zagel told Blagojevich. “You did that damage.”

Blagojevich won’t be eligible for release until 2024, when he is 67 years old. The former governor was sentenced after making a final plea to Zagel that saw him apologize but seemingly stop just short of fully admitting he had done something criminal. “I’m here convicted of crimes. The jury decided I was guilty,” Blagojevich said. “I am accepting of it. I acknowledge it and I, of course, am unbelievably sorry for it.”

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