June 27, 2011
Blagojevich Found Guilty on 17 of 20 counts - Joining The Illinois Governor Convicted Felon Club
The press is reporting here, here, here, and here, that Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been found guilty of 17 counts, not guilty on one count, and two counts with no verdict. This was the second trial, the first ending in a hung jury except for one count. The jury was out this time for 10 days. Blagojevich did not testify in the first trial, but did testify this time.
A second trial was an enormous benefit to the government. They had the opportunity to re-evaluate their case and to see that keeping it simple was the smarter choice. They also had the conviction on one count to allow them to start cross-examination against him with the "convicted felon question."
Why is it that so many Illinois Governors wind up as convicted felons? (e.g. Otto Kerner, Dan Walker, George Ryan, and Rod Blagojevich).
Addendum - Doug Berman, Sentencing Law and Policy Blog here
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Walker was convicted after he was governor. He wasn't my favorite, but he was also not an "Establishment Democrat" and he got no protection from the state politicos. I believe he was convicted of lying on a loan application. Not in the same class with Kerner, Ryan, and Blago.
Disclaimer: a few years ago I acquired former Gov Walker as an email correspondent [we exchange emails perhaps once a month.] and he seems to me to be a very nice person, overall. I can't vouch for Kerner, but neither Ryan nor especially BLago struck me this way.
Posted by: JorgXMcKie | Jun 27, 2011 3:10:25 PM
Why not spare everyone the trouble in Illinois and simply drag each new governor off to the slammer as soon as the tally of votes is final?
Posted by: Jonathan Silber | Jun 27, 2011 5:17:52 PM
The only job saved or created in Illinois in this bad economy is prison guard to former governors.
Posted by: Jonathan Silber | Jun 27, 2011 5:24:06 PM
Trivia question: Excepting the current governor of Illinois, who was the last Democrat elected Governor of Illinois who was not later convicted of a felony? In what decade did he serve?
Posted by: Cedric | Jun 27, 2011 8:54:16 PM
Good news for Rod. He was acquitted on three counts.
Posted by: John Frary | Jun 28, 2011 4:03:19 AM
Once the United States Attorney focuses on someone they will be convicted of something. The U. S. Attorney has a huge sword with a lot of power and it is not unheard of for prosecutors to intimidate witnesses, threaten subjects, release secret information to the press - in other words, they will do anything to win. It is certainly not about truth and justice. It is only about numbers and using people as a stepping stone for their career. Truth and justice does not enter into the equation at all but who will get the prosecutor the most press and the biggest return.
Posted by: NextDoor | Jul 8, 2012 10:45:34 AM