UPDATE: Blagojevich gets 14 years in prison for corruption - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Blagojevich gets 14 years in prison for corruption

CHICAGO (AP) -- Rod Blagojevich is headed home to his family after a federal judge sentenced him to 14 years in prison for political corruption.

The disgraced former governor of Illinois cited author Rudyard Kipling on his way through the lobby of Chicago's federal courthouse.

He told reporters that this was a time to be strong, to fight adversity and to head home to his children and explain his sentence.

The usually jocular politician took no questions from reporters.

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CHICAGO (AP) -- A federal judge has sentenced Rod Blagojevich to 14 years for corruption that included trying to sell or trade an appointment to the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

It's one of the stiffest penalties for corruption in a state with a history of crooked politics.

Blagojevich apologized for his crimes and asked for mercy in addressing the judge earlier Wednesday.

His attorneys had said the sentence of 15 to 20 years prosecutors wanted was too harsh.

He is the second successive Illinois governor sentenced for corruption. His Republican predecessor, George Ryan, is serving a 6 1/2 year term.

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CHICAGO (AP) -- Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is making his final plea for leniency to the judge who will impose his sentence, saying he "never set out to break the law."


While he apologized for his crimes, Blagojevich said he did not know he was breaking the law. He told Judge James Zagel that he thought what he was doing was "permissible," but that he was mistaken.

Blagojevich said he acknowledges his crimes and is "unbelievably sorry." He says he's made "terrible mistakes."

The impeached Illinois governor spoke Wednesday as he waits to learn his punishment on charges that include trying to sell an appointment to President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

Prosecutors have asked for a prison sentence of 15-20 years.

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CHICAGO (AP) -- With his freedom in the balance, impeached ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich gets his last shot at trying to persuade a judge not to send him away for a lengthy prison term.

The 54-year-old will address Judge James Zagel Wednesday -- on the final day of his two-day sentencing hearing.

Soon after, Zagel will announce how long Blagojevich must spend behind bars for 18 corruption counts that include his attempt to auction off President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

Before Blagojevich speaks, prosecutors will also make a brief pitch about why they think Blagojevich deserves up to 20 years.

On Tuesday, defense attorneys made a surprising admission that their client was, in fact, guilty of corruption. But they said he didn't deserve nearly as much time as the government is asking.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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