“In all this tangle of words and seeming self-reproach, I do not see a simple admission of intentional wrongdoing. The ‘mistakes’ he refers to are still not crimes in his mind – they are things he said and did that he now ‘accepts’ that the jury found were a crime,” Mr. Zorn wrote.
Ever since his arrest in December 2008 on corruption counts largely related to schemes to sell President Obama’s former US Senate seat in exchange for campaign contributions and political favors, Blagojevich has positioned himself as a scrappy street fighter in the ring against political enemies determined to knock him out.
One explanation is that Blagojevich indeed trained as a Golden Gloves boxer while in high school, participating in two fights before moving on to college.
Yet the skills Blagojevich learned in the ring did not help him in his political life.
Legal experts say the severity of Blagojevich’s sentence – by comparison, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan received 6-1/2 years on corruption charges – is due in part to the continued adversarial approach he’s taken toward the legal system, and Judge Zagel in particular, since the start of the first of his two trials in 2010.