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Judge imposes same 14-year prison term for Blagojevich at resentencing

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CHICAGO -- A lawyer for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says now that a judge has declined to lighten Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence, he may again appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Defense attorney Leonard Goodman said Tuesday the decision of whether to appeal will be up to Blagojevich, adding "I don't see why he wouldn't."

The high court refused to consider Blagojevich's corruption conviction earlier this year. At the time, one argument prosecutors made against the appeal being heard was that resentencing and other legal steps needed to play out.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel refused Tuesday to lessen Blagojevich's sentence after an appeals court threw out some of the counts he was convicted of in 2011.

Blagojevich, who is being held in a prison near Denver, appeared at the hearing via video.

"I recognize it was my words and my actions that led me here," Blagojevich said before the judge's decision Tuesday. "I apologize to the court and to the government."

"I think I'm a very different person and I am someone who has learned a lot. I thank you for the opportunity to speak," he said.

Judge Zagel ignored pleas for leniency from Blagojevich's wife and daughters in making the ruling. Blagojevich's attorneys had asked for a 5-year reduced term after a federal appeals court.

In making his decision Zagel said "these are serious crimes that had an impact on the people of Illinois."

The judge also said it's "an unfortunate reality" that Blagojevich's innocent family members are made to suffer the consequences.


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