Blagojevich Convicted of 17 Counts of Corruption

     CHICAGO (CN) – A federal jury has found former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty of 17 out of 20 federal corruption charges, including trying to sell President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat.

     Jurors announced that they had reached a verdict this morning, the 10th day of deliberation.
     Blagojevich was convicted of wire fraud, bribery, attempted distortion and various other charges. The convictions included 11 counts regarding the sale of Obama’s Senate seat and three regarding a shakedown of Children’s Memorial Hospital. The jury acquitted Blagojevich on one count of bribery related to an alleged shakedown of the Illinois Tollway, and failed to reach a verdict on two extortion charges.
     During Blagojevich’s trial last year, a jury deadlocked after 14 days of deliberation on all but one of a 24-count indictment. That conviction – lying to the FBI – carries a sentence of up to five years.
     Prosecutors eliminated racketeering charges and dropped charges against Blagojevich’s brother before retrying him.
     “My hands are shaking, my knees are week,” Blagojevich reportedly told onlookers as he made his way into the courtroom. “It’s in God’s hands.”
     Blagojevich will be the second consecutive Illinois governor to face prison time, following Republican George Ryan.
     After he was arrested on federal corruption charges, the Illinois House of Representative voted 114-1 to impeach Blagojevich.
     The convictions could total a maximum sentence of 300 years, according to local news outlets.

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