By David Colburn
On March 9, 2011, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich requested that his re-trial be canceled and that he be sentenced on his single conviction of perjury from the original trial. According to the five-page motion written by Blagojevich’s lawyers, “A second prosecution of this case is an irresponsible use of taxpayer funds in light of the current economic crisis and Blagojevich’s imminent sentencing on the conviction from the first trial.” The motion further states that none of the lawyers had been paid for months of pre-trial preparations, as confirmed by radaronline.com.
The former governor was indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2009 and subsequently convicted on one of 24 federal charges on August 17 2010. According to abcnews.go.com, the jury was deadlocked 11-1 on key counts relating to the senate seat itself.
Blagojevich has been adamant about maintaining his innocence: “I’ve told the truth from the very beginning…this is a persecution.”
The conviction, one count of lying to the FBI, carries a sentence of up to five years. In the re-trial scheduled for April 20, 2011, Blagojevich faces 20 charges that could potentially result in 20 years of imprisonment.