Blagojevich Attorneys Appeal 14-Year Sentence, Citing ‘One-Sided’ Judge’s Rulings

AP

Lawyers for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) appealed his conviction and 14-year sentence for political corruption Monday, shortly before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ midnight filing deadline, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Blagojevich’s lawyers claimed that U.S. District Judge James Zagel put the former governor’s defense team at a disadvantage with “one-sided evidentiary rulings,” according to the Tribune. 

“While critical evidence for the defense was excluded, the court allowed the government to introduce almost any evidence no matter how irrelevant to paint the defendant in a negative light,” the lawyers wrote, as quoted by the Tribune.

The appeal also alleged that Zagel favored the prosecution by preventing Blagojevich’s attorneys from pointing out potential bias in government witnesses’ testimony, as well as misleading the jury by “failing to explain the legal distinction between campaign contributions and bribes,” according to the Tribune.

Blagojevich entered federal prison in March 2012 near Denver, Colo.

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Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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