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After crime, now punishment for Blagojevich

Posted by wlpo on December 5, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) – A veteran judge will sentence Rod Blagojevich this week on corruption charges in a potentially surprise-filled spectacle where the former Illinois governor may beg for mercy or dig in his heels to protest his innocence.

The impeached state executive-turned-reality TV star has reason to feel anxious stepping before U.S. District Judge James Zagel.

He’s staring at the possibility of 10 or more years in prison.

Zagel is known for being tough but fair.

The 70-year-old judge must answer several nuanced questions in calculating a sentence. Those include what harm Blagojevich’s crimes caused and whether any good he did as governor counterbalances the bad.

The sentencing hearing starts Tuesday. But Zagel will announce the sentence Wednesday, possibly to give him time to sleep on it.

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