Rod Blagojevich is not guilty, but he doesn't want a retrial. That's what he told a federal judge in his motion to cancel his upcoming retrial and sentence him immediately for the sole conviction he recieved during the last one. Politico reports that the former Illinois governor's lawyers are supposed to be paid by the government, but have not recieved the funds necessary to prepare a proper defense against Blagojevich's various corruption charges. The cost to fuel his legal team has apparently become too much for Blago to bear on his own. The petition from Blagojevich and his attornies, though, appeals to the public's interest arguing, "A second prosecution of this case is an irresponsible use of taxpayer funds in light of the current economic crisis and Blagojevich's imminent sentencing on the conviction from the first trial. Should this motion be granted, and preparation for retrial is no longer required, funds for the second trial would no longer be necessary. There would be no further cost to taxpayers," according to United Press International.
A retrial could also put Blagojevich at risk of a much harsher sentence than the one he currently faces. Out of the 24 counts against him, the jury was only able to agree to convict him on one: lying to the FBI, "a charge that could bring a sentence of up to five years in prison," according to Politico. If, during the retrial, he were found guilty of some of the 23 other charges against him, he could be looking at up to 20 years in prison.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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