Judge James Zagel

Rod Blagojevich

After Judge Deals Setback, Blagojevich Lawyers Make Impassioned Plea For Mercy

After being dealt an early setback from the judge hearing his case, defense attorneys for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich made an impassioned plea for mercy at his sentencing hearing, drawing on his family’s own words about the devastating impact a long sentence would have on them.

CBS Chicago–12/06/2011

Rod Blagojevich outside his home on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 (CBS)

Prosecutors: Blagojevich Trying To Dodge Responsibility

One day before Rod Blagojevich’s sentencing hearing was set to begin, federal prosecutors reasserted that the former governor has never accepted responsibility for his crimes and urged the judge to reject Blagojevich’s push for leniency.

CBS Chicago–12/05/2011

Rod Blagojevich and his wife Patti arrive at the federal courthouse where opening remarks were delivered at his corruption retrial on May 2, 2011. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Quiet Weekend For Blagojevich Ahead Of Sentencing

It’s a quiet weekend for convicted ex-governor Rod Blagojevich and his family, just days before his sentencing hearing.

CBS Chicago–12/04/2011

Rod Blagojevich

Feds Want 15-20 Year Sentence For Blago; Defense Seeks Much Less

Federal prosecutors intend to ask a federal judge to sentence former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to a 15- to 20-year prison term. But defense attorneys are seeking a much lighter sentence, arguing Blagojevich never profited from the crimes on which he was convicted and caused no public harm.

CBS Chicago–11/30/2011

Rod Blagojevich

Judge Rips Blago’s Bid To Play New Tapes At Sentencing

The federal judge who will sentence impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges has harsh words for one of the former governor’s latest legal moves.


Rod Blagojevich

Blagojevich Wants To Play New Tapes At Sentencing

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is asking to play wiretap recordings that were previously placed under seal when he’s sentenced next month.

CBS Chicago–11/25/2011

William Cellini leaves the Dirksen Federal Courthouse after he was convicted of two charges in a conspiracy to shake down a Hollywood producer for a campaign contribution to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. (Credit: CBS)

Judge Will Hold Hearing On Cellini Juror’s Failure To Disclose Felony Convictions

Springfield power broker William Cellini won’t get an automatic mistrial after learning that a juror in his corruption trial failed to disclose her criminal record before being picked for the jury, but a federal judge will hold a hearing on the matter.

CBS Chicago–11/23/2011

Rod Blagojevich

Blagojevich Sentencing Set For December

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s sentencing hearing has been scheduled for next month.

CBS Chicago–11/07/2011

Springfield businessman William Cellini arrives at the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. (CBS File Photo)

Juror Replaced In Cellini Trial Deliberations

A federal judge has replaced a juror at the shakedown trial of a clout-heavy Illinois businessman and told the new jury to start deliberations from scratch.


Springfield businessman William Cellini has been nicknamed both "The King of Clout" and "The Pope" for his significant influence in Illinois politics. (AP File Photo)

Cellini Won’t Testify In Own Defense

Millionaire businessman William Cellini has decided not to take the stand during his Chicago corruption trial.


Springfield businessman William Cellini has been nicknamed both "The King of Clout" and "The Pope" for his significant influence in Illinois politics. (AP File Photo)

Defense Tries To Distance Cellini From Blagojevich

An attorney for an Illinois powerbroker on trial in the last case directly linked to a federal investigation of Rod Blagojevich sought in his opening statement Thursday to distance his client from the disgraced former governor.

CBS Chicago–10/06/2011

Rod Blagojevich

Blagojevich Sentencing Hearing Delayed

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s sentencing hearing – originally set for next week – has been delayed indefinitely.

CBS Chicago–09/26/2011

Rod Blagojevich

Feds: Rod Blagojevich Could Get 30 Years To Life In Prison

Prosecutors are apparently looking to throw the book at convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich – they are estimating that he could get 30 years to life in prison.

CBS Chicago–09/14/2011

Rod Blagojevich

Blagojevich Sentencing Could Face Delays

Rod Blagojevich may have to wait for his day of reckoning. As it now stands, the former governor’s scheduled sentencing date next month directly conflicts with a trial in a related case.


Rod Blagojevich

Prosecutors, Blagojevich Spar Over Meaning Of His Words

During a full day of cross-examination at Rod Blagojevich’s corruption retrial, federal prosecutors repeatedly tried to use the former governor’s own words to discredit him and paint him as dishonest.

CBS Chicago–06/06/2011

Rod Blagojevich

Blagojevich Trial To Resume On Wednesday

Rod Blagojevich’s defense attorneys initially planned to begin calling their first witnesses on Monday, but late Friday afternoon, court officials announced the trial will not resume until Wednesday.

CBS Chicago–05/20/2011

Rod Blagojevich

Jury Selection Inches Closer To Completion In Blago Retrial

Jury selection was nearly completed Wednesday in the corruption retrial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich as more than 40 potential jurors have been deemed qualified. The judge said only a few more need to be questioned before the final step of seating a jury.

CBS Chicago–04/27/2011

Rod Blagojevich

Judge To Limit Evidence On Blagojevich’s Lavish Spending

A federal judge said Tuesday that he would limit the amount of evidence that prosecutors can present about former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s spending on designer suits and other clothes when testimony begins at his retrial.

CBS Chicago–04/26/2011

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks about his corruption retrial at his home on April 16, 2011 in Chicago. Blagojevich who was convicted of one count of lying to the FBI in his original trial, faces 20 federal counts at his second trial, including allegations that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's former Senate seat. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Jury Selection Begins For Blago Retrial

As jury selection got underway Thursday in the retrial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, U.S. District Judge James Zagel questioned 22 potential jurors, eventually excusing or dismissing half of them from the jury pool.

CBS Chicago–04/21/2011

Rod Blagojevich

Big Changes In Store For Blagojevich Retrial

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s second trial on federal corruption charges begins on Wednesday, but it won’t be a simple repeat of the first trial.

CBS Chicago–04/19/2011