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Any defiance could hurt Blagojevich at sentencing

Posted by wlpo on December 3, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) – Rod Blagojevich’s demeanor when he steps before a sentencing judge may partly determine how long he spends in prison for corruption.

The impeached Illinois governor has insisted he is innocent of charges including trying to barter the Senate seat Barack Obama was vacating to become president. But legal experts say even a hint of obstinacy at the hearing starting Tuesday could anger the judge.

Prosecutors have requested Blagojevich get 15 to 20 years in prison. His defense says under federal guidelines he should get between 3 1/2 to a little more than 4 years and presented reasons why he should get less.

Many experts say Blagojevich is likely to get around 10 years. More would make it one of the harshest penalties for corruption in Illinois’ history of crooked politics.

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