"I've got this thing and it's f------ golden ... And I'm just not giving it up for f------ nothing." Blagojevich's own words, as reported by seattlepi.com, sum up the reason for his conviction on 18 counts of corruption.
Rod Blagojevich was tried and convicted by a jury of 18 counts: 14 wire fraud, 6 conspiracy, one attempted bribery, and one making false statements. As a result, he was ordered to pay $200,000 in fines and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.
Now in his second year, of a 14-year prison term, Blagojevich, and prosecutors, have filed their appellate briefs to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Blagojevich's Appellate Brief
In July, Blagojevich's attorneys filed a 153-page appellate brief to the Seventh Circuit claiming eight reasons for appealing his sentence and conviction. Among his arguments for reversing his conviction and sentence, and asking for a new trial are: insufficient evidence, erroneous jury instructions, evidentiary rulings, witness confrontation rights, a biased juror and the lower court's misapplication of sentencing guidelines.
The Prosecution's Appellate Brief
Prosecutors filed their response to Blagojevich's brief minutes before a midnight deadline, according to WMAQ-TV. In its also lengthy 169-page appellate brief, prosecutors not-surprisingly address each of Blagojevich's points, and refute them, characterizing Blagojevich's claim that he was "guilty of nothing more than political 'horse trading' was an 'extraordinary claim,'" reports WMAQ-TV.
The brief states: "No matter the price he charges, a public official who sells his office engages in crime, not politics. The verdicts were supported by abundant evidence, and the defendant received a fair trial."
Now that the appellate briefs are filed, a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit will schedule oral arguments, and issue an opinion within a few months after hearing arguments, reports seattlepi.com. Considering the deference juries are given, the errors that Blagojevich alleges took place will have to rise to a level that the district court can't ignore.
If Blagojevich's appeal is not successful, he will serve until 2014, according to the Chicago Tribune.