Former Illinois Gov. Blagojevich Seeks Presidential Commutation of Prison Term - NECN
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Former Illinois Gov. Blagojevich Seeks Presidential Commutation of Prison Term

Blagojevich is serving a 14-year sentence for his attempt to sell then-President-elect Obama’s U.S. Senate seat

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    Questions Surround Judge's Decision to Maintain Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Sentence

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    Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has requested a presidential commutation, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed Friday.

    The spokeswoman declined to comment further.

    A petition created over the summer asks President Barack Obama to grant executive clemency to Blagojevich after a federal judge declined to lower the embattled politician’s sentence.

    Blagojevich is serving a 14-year sentence for his attempt to sell then-President-elect Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, in addition to other corruption charges. He is being held at a low-security federal prison in Colorado.

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    An appeals court last year struck down five of his 18 convictions and ordered a new sentencing, but a judge this year upheld the 14-year term. 

    In 2008, Blagojevich was impeached from the governor's office after being charged with racketeering, bribery, wire fraud and attempted extortion.

    “We ask that President Barack Obama offer executive clemency and allow Rod to leave prison based on the sentence of the time that has already been served,” the petition reads. “Combination the prison sentence to time served would allow Rod to again be a productive citizen in society again, and be offered the opportunity to help raise his children.”

    Blagojevich's lawyers this week asked a U.S. appeals court to nullify the prison term and order another sentencing hearing, arguing he's been a model prisoner.