CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s final appeal.
After seven years of legal wrangling since his 2011 conviction, it was Blagojevich’s final attempt through the courts at reducing his 14 year sentence.
“As far as his direct appeals, this is the end of the road,” Blagojevich attorney Len Goodman told CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley last week.
In the appeal, Blagojevich argued federal law in different parts of the country leaves the lines too blurry between what defines a donation and a bribe.
Blagojevich’s attorney, Len Goodman, criticized the high court’s decision not to take up the case.
“The Supreme Court has decided not to correct a dangerous conflict in the law that makes it incredibly easy for federal prosecutors in Midwest cities like Chicago to jail elected officials, while prosecutors on the coasts have a much higher burden. Rod Blagojevich never sought a bribe or a kickback; he never took a penny from his campaign fund; he never promised anything to any donor in exchange for a campaign donation. Yet he is serving one of the longest prison sentences ever handed down to an elected official,” Goodman said.
Blagojevich went to prison without hard proof that he took campaign cash in exchange for official actions.
The odds of the High Court hearing the case were never good.
The high court receives up to 8,000 appeal requests every year.
It only hears around 80. That’s a one percent success ratio.
The justices did not comment Monday in letting stand the convictions and 14-year prison term that Blagojevich is serving. He’s scheduled to be released in 2024.
His convictions included trying to extort a children’s hospital for contributions and seeking to trade an appointment to the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated when he was elected president for campaign cash.
The court rejected an earlier appeal in 2016.
Contributing: Associated Press