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
Blagojevich: Kill Retrial, Sentence Me
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.

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"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. (Read more Rod Blagojevich stories.)

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