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CHICAGO (CBS) — A trial observer says the only thing deposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich could say to help his cause during his sentencing hearing this week is, “I’m sorry.”
But as WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, trial attorney Irv Miller says that is not going to happen.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports
Blagojevich is likely to speak on his own behalf during his sentencing hearing, which begins Tuesday at the Dirksen Federal Building.
“The only thing that he could say that would make a difference is, ‘I’m sorry. I did wrong, and I accept responsibility,’” Miller said. “He will never, ever say that.”
Defense Attorney Sheldon Sorosky says Blagojevich will choose his own words.
“Rod Blagojevich is his own man, and he will say what he feels is most appropriate,” Sorosky said.
“He’s doing fine. Of course, he’s nervous and apprehensive, but he’s doing fine and he’s with his family,” Sorosky said on Friday, after U.S. District Judge James Zagel told them he would not hand down a sentence until Wednesday, even if testimony and arguments in the sentencing hearing are done on Tuesday.
Miller says the impact of the case on the Blagojevich family will be considered when Zagel imposes his sentence.
“I truly believe that he will be swayed by that,” he said. “I have had sentencing hearings before Judge Zagel. He’s very fair when he comes to sentencing. He takes into account everything.”
At that hearing, Zagel spent about an hour criticizing the way Blagojevich and his attorneys handled the second trial.
Neither Blagojevich nor his family attended that hearing, the last one before sentencing begins on Tuesday.
Many legal experts believe Blagojevich will get a lengthy prison sentence. Antoin “Tony” Rezko, Blagojevich’s chief fundraiser, got a 10 1/2 year sentence for allegedly shaking down companies seeking state business under Blagojevich Many legal observers believe Zagel will not give Blagojevich a sentence any shorter than Rezko’s.
In their filing, Blagojevich’s attorneys pushed for a much more lenient sentence – saying guidelines should warrant no more than a 41 to 51 month prison sentence. But they will argue for probation, stating he received no monetary gain and caused no public harm as two reasons for their position.
Legal analysts say immediate imprisonment is unlikely for Blagojevich, absent a finding of flight risk or community danger.