Miller: Blagojevich Has A Shot At Appealing Sentence

CHICAGO (CBS) — CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller says Rod Blagojevich likely stands a chance at appealing his lengthy 14-year sentence.

But Miller says he was surprised that Blagojevich seemed once again to be arguing that he was innocent when he addressed reporters and supporters on Wednesday, and the speech is not likely to help him in the appeals process.

“The statements yesterday were a little bit different from the statements he made before Judge (James B.) Zagel on his day of sentencing, when he really did apologize and said he did wrong,” Miller said. “Now he’s back to the tours Rod Blagojevich when he was making the tours on all the TV shows and talking about his innocence. He’s back to that again. So I was kind of surprised that he kind of changed his tune a little bit yesterday.”

On Dec. 7 of last year before he was sentenced, Blagojevich was thoroughly contrite as he admitted to “terrible mistakes.”

“I’m here convicted of crimes. The jury decided that I was guilty, and I am accepting of it, and I acknowledge it, and I am unbelievably sorry for it,” he said at the time. He said he never set out to break the law and was ignorant that he had done anything illegal, but still admitted that he had done so.

But on Wednesday, he seemed to be back to arguing that he was in the right.

“We have great trust and faith in the appeal, and while my faith in things has sometimes been challenged, I still believe this is America, this is a country that is governed by the rule of law, that the truth ultimately will prevail, that right makes might, and that this, as bad as it is, is the beginning of another part of our long and hard journey that will only get worse before it gets better, but that this is not over,” he said.

Blagojevich’ self-assured statement likely won’t bode well for him during the appeals process, Miller said.

“I guarantee that the judges that are hearing his appeal were watching that yesterday. It’s not going to help him going back to that old criterion that: ‘I’m just a guy. I’m wrongly convicted. I’m not the bad guy; it was the judge and the prosecutors. That’s not exactly the way you want to when you’ve got an appeal pending,” Miller said.

Blagojevich doesn’t stand much of a chance at this point when it comes to getting a new trial, Miller said.

“He’s trying to get the 7th Circuit or Judge Zagel to give him a brand new trial. The problem with that is if he gets a new trial, they’re going to use what he said before Judge Zagel at the sentencing hearing, you know, ‘I was wrong, I did wrong,’ at the trial. ” Miller said. “So he’s not going too far, even if he gets a new trial.”

But Miller says Blagojevich has a good shot at appealing his 14-year sentence.

“Fourteen years is a really stiff sentence. When you look at George Ryan – 6 1/2 years – does he really deserve more than double what George Ryan got?” Miller said. “So I think his best shot on appeal is hope that he will cut his time, give him a new sentencing hearing, and allow him some relief that way.”

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  • Edward C. Stengel

    I agree with Mr. Miller. No matter what you think of Blago, 14 years is absurd. The 6 1/2 sentence that George Ryan got is a lot more rational. Personally, I would have given him probation. I still say all he did was ask for a donation.

  • Rod

    This State the jurors the system fail in this case, this Governor did more for this State then any other Governor done. look at the condition of this state since he left, all the good programs that he made for the States are all gone because of this so call Governor ( Pat Quinn ) took away from us. he never raise taxes, If you going to sent people for prison for what he did, then all this politicians should be in jail. because they are all doing the same thing, I guess in the United States you got to mutter somebody to go free, Look at Casey Anthony, she out there living the life of Riley amount others. I just can’t understand why he didn’t take the stand and took everybody with him that were doing deals including his brother, Obama, Jesse Jackson and lot more of this politicians crooks.

    • KE

      What are you talking about.??? Tthe reason that the State of Illinois is in such bad shape can be attributedo the years Roddy spent in office , as well as Ryan. The reality is that life was good BECAUSE they were not doing what they were supposed to for decades.. one big thing is putting the millions in the pension programs as they weer supposed to, and another was paying the stack of debts that had been deferring in oh so many other areas.

      LIFE IS GOOD when you are given an say an American Express Black Card.with no limit, but THEN the bill comes due.

      IMHO. Quinn may not be the best governor, but he was handed all the debt a( and its massive interest rates) in a recession, etc. Blago has always been a big spender with the public’s money, Quinn is a very smart, frugal man..
      Obama and the US government are the ones that decided that the State’s had to start funding the pensions and to make up some of the missed (decades worth) of payments. THAT is one of the main reasons that your State Income tax rate went up. And Rod’s prediction that our taxes were going to be raised, is because he KNEW that the sh** would be hitting the fan when someone else took over

  • TrueBlue

    The Governor was railroaded. Only Governor who actually did good things for the people. And since when do we haul people into court TWICE??? They found him innocent on 21 of 23 counts but they hauled him into court again!!!???
    Totally railroaded.

    • KE


      he reason that Rod caught ab rake the first time was because the Government tried Rod and Robert together.

      Once he was on his own in the second trial,Rods mouth got him into trouble the second time

  • Larry Fredricks

    Unfortunately for Blago, his attempts at commiting crimes was all caught on tape. It’s pretty hard to deny wrongdoing when it’s on tape. The attempt is as bad as the crime itself. Also, if Blago had kept his mouth shut from the beginning and shown some remorse throughout the process, he probably would have gotton far less time. I think he was punished for his arrogance and lack of remorse, more than the crimes themselves.

    • KE

      I agree

  • Dan

    I’m not a big fan, of his but that sentence is extreme. 6 years would be plenty.

  • Bruce

    What is the point on commenting,nothing of mine is EVER posted!

  • darrell jefferson

    I believe the 8th ammendment of the U.S. Constitution should be looked at. punishment fit the crime?

  • David

    Regardless of any comments, he was found guilty, he was given 14 years, will probably meet Bubba tonight or very early in the morning, and will learn a new game called “Drop The Soap”

  • Fed Up Dem

    If you cant do the time dont do the crime.

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