Appeal is Blagojevich’s Last Hope to Cut Sentence

CHICAGO (AP) — Rod Blagojevich has one last, slim hope to reduce his tough 14-year sentence: an appeal.

Experts say lawyers for the impeached Illinois governor face long odds in chipping away at the time he’ll serve for attempting to auction off President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat and other crimes.

Lance Northcutt, an adjunct professor at John Marshall Law School, says they must convince a higher court that trial Judge James Zagel made serious errors at trial and in calculating a sentence. But he says the veteran judge has a reputation for carefully avoiding such mistakes that could overturn his decisions.

An appeal could drag on for years. And legal experts also say there’s virtually no chance Blagojevich would be able to put off reporting to prison on Feb. 16.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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