Supreme Court refuses to hear ex-Illinois governor's appeal

Supreme Court refuses to hear ex-Illinois governor's appeal
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The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s last-ditch effort to have his 14-year prison sentence tossed out.

The court said for a second time it would not hear Blagojevich’s appeal but did not comment further on its decision.

Blagojevich was convicted in 2011 of corruption for seeking campaign contributions in exchange for official acts, including allegedly trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by former President Obama.

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On appeal, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out the conviction that involved the Senate seat. A federal district court judge, however, imposed the same 14 years in prison for the other charges.

In briefs, Blagojevich argued the Supreme Court should take his case and rule that in a campaign finance prosecution, the government needs to prove there was an explicit quid pro quo in trade for the donation, not just something that’s implicitly understood as a “wink and a nudge.”

He also argued that his 168-month sentence was more than twice as long as the sentences given to other officials found guilty of the same, or more culpable, conduct.