Blagojevich: Kill Retrial, Sentence Me

Ex-Illinois governor says he's too poor for retrial
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2011 9:15 AM CST
In this Aug. 17, 2010 file photo, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich talks to the media at the federal building in Chicago after a jury found him guilty of one count of lying to federal agents.   (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

(Newser) – Rod Blagojevich has asked a judge to cancel his retrial and instead sentence him immediately on the lone count he was convicted of (lying to a federal agent), arguing that he doesn't have the money to mount another defense. The government is supposed to pick up the tab for Blagojevich's legal bills, but the ex-governor says his lawyers haven't been paid for months of pretrial work, according to the AP.

"Should this motion be granted ... funds for the second trial would no longer be necessary," the five-page motion filed today said, adding that this would happily result in "no further cost to taxpayers." Blagojevich faces a maximum of five years in prison for the lying count, but in a retrial, he'd face a full 20 charges, with many carrying much stiffer penalties. Blagojevich was given an almost $3 million fund to pay for his defense, but spent it all on the initial trial, which ended in a hung jury. Prosecutors are intent on going forward with the retrial.

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