CHICAGO – U.S. District Judge James Zagel denied former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich a request to shorten his 14 year federal prison sentence Tuesday. The Tribune reports:
The decision, which means Blagojevich, 59, will remain behind bars until 2024, appeared to stun the ex-governor, who was looking on by closed-circuit television from a federal prison in Colorado. As the hearing came to an end, Blagojevich, dressed in blue prison garb and with his famously jet-black hair now snow white, shook his head and brushed his mouth with his hand as he collapsed back into his seat, saying something inaudible.
Inside Zagel's 25th-floor courtroom, both of Blagojevich's daughters burst into tears when they realized their father's sentence had remained the same. Blagojevich, who could apparently hear the sobbing but could not see his family because the camera was still trained on the judge's bench, stood for a moment, then grabbed a brown file folder and walked off-screen.
As family members tried to console her, Blagojevich's older daughter, Amy, cried out, "He stole my childhood!" and gestured toward the bench that Zagel had left moments earlier.
Later, in the lobby of the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, Blagojevich's wife, Patti, told reporters, "Quite frankly, I'm dumbfounded and flabbergasted" that the judge showed no leniency.
The rest of the Tribune's account is HERE.