Former Illionois governor, Rod Blagojevich, was re-sentenced to fourteen years in federal prison, the same length of time as his original sentence. U.S. District Judge James Zagel denied his request to reduce it to five years, as lawyers argued that he was a changed man.
Perhaps the most shocking evidence used was Blagojevich’s tenure in a band formed during his sentence. According to the Associated Press, Blagojevich formed the band after being inspired by his love of Elvis Presley, going so far as to name it “The Jailhouse Rockers.”
The group produced a 21 song set list, with former governor served as the band’s lead vocalist. It dissolved, however, when the lead guitarist was released. Apparently, the band was evidence of his increasingly good behavior.
On a more serious note, the defense did make use of the former governor’s two daughters, who tearfully begged for their father to be returned to them.
“I almost didn’t want to grow up because I want to wait for him to come home.” His daughter Amy, who is in the eighth grade, told the courtroom.
“The longer my father is gone, the more and more estranged my sister and I become from him”
said his college aged daughter Amy. She also spoke of how hard it was to make her father familiar with her life or to even have a private conversation with him when visiting. She said it “kills him” to not have met her new friends and college professors.
Even so, Zagel said that Blagojevich’s actions had already diminished the public’s “already taxed faith” in its elected leaders.
“I do not doubt that he is a loving father and that his children miss him deeply in his absence.” He said acknowledging his family. “But as I said four years ago, that fault lies with the governor.”
The defense did not agree with the sentencing. “Quite frankly, I’m dumbfounded and flabbergasted” his wife Patti told reporters.
“This was unusually cruel and heatless and unfair… Somehow, we will get through this. We love Rod. And we’ll be here for him as we continue to fight.”
Blagojevich was convicted in 2011 for misusing his powers as governor for an array of misdeeds. Most famously, he tried to use his influence to sell off the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.
“I’ve got this thing and it’s f*cking golden, and I’m just not giving it up for fuckin’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it.” He told someone over the phone as the FBI listened through a wiretap.
The former governor will most likely finish out his sentence, making him a free man in 2024.