Rod Blagojevich gets only a single guilty verdict
The trial of disgraced former governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich has just concluded. After two weeks of deliberation, the grand jury returned only a single guilty verdict. Blagojevich was only convicted of one count of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Sentencing will soon follow, and he could face up to five years in prison for giving false statements to government officials. Federal prosecutors have already announced they fully intend to re-try Blagojevich.
Jury renders verdict after two weeks
Rod Blagojevich was arrested two years ago in connection with federal surveillance that indicated he was trying to sell the seat in the United States Senate vacated by Barack Obama. In the time between then and the verdict, he was impeached and removed from office. He faced 24 different accusations of corruption. After two weeks, the jury, which had been mostly deadlocked before then, came back with only one clear verdict. The judge declared a mistrial on 23 of the 24 accounts and announced the guilty verdict on one count of providing a false statement to the FBI.
U.S. Attorney will file for a retrial
According to the New York Times, officials from the U.S. Attorney’s office said they will attempt to retry Blagojevich. He was still convicted, after all, of one count of lying to the FBI. Making false statements to the FBI is a federal crime, that carries a fine of up to $250,000 or up to five years in prison, or both. Some people might be hoping for both.
Balgojevich seen as stereotypical Chicago politician
Chicago, Ill., has a long history of political corruption. The previous governor before Rod Blagojevich, George Ryan, was also removed from office and convicted. Ryan was sent to federal prison for corruption. It’s unknown what the fate of Rod Blagojevich will be, as he still has a second trial in his future. He could end up serving all five years in prison.