Two days after the United States Supreme Court declined to hear former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s appeal, federal prosecutors announced that they don’t plan to retry him on five counts that a lower appellate court tossed last year.
In a brief filed Wednesday, prosecutors asked U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel “to proceed directly to resentencing.”
Zagel wasted little time, setting the hearing for 10:30 a.m. June 30. It will come nearly a year after a three-judge appellate panel tossed five counts of Blagojevich’s 18 criminal convictions last year and ordered him to be resentenced.
Blagojevich, 59, reported to a federal prison in Colorado four years ago to begin serving a 14-year sentence. He was convicted of 18 counts over two trials. Among other things, Blagojevich was accused of attempting to trade his power to appoint someone to a U.S. Senate seat — the one vacated by President Barack Obama.
For now, Blagojevich is not set to be released until May 2024, records show. It’s not clear whether Zagel will alter the original sentence he imposed.
The appellate court tossed nearly a third of the counts against Blagojevich but still noted that “it is not possible to call 168 months unlawfully high for Blagojevich’s crimes.”
After he is resentenced, Blagojevich’s lawyers are expected to take another shot at appealing his conviction and sentence to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court rejected his request to hear his appeal on Monday, a decision the former governor’s wife, Patti, said left the family “incredibly disappointed.”