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Court Throws Out Some Convictions Of Former Ill. Gov. Blagojevich

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich waves as he departs his Chicago home for Littleton, Colo., to begin his 14-year prison sentence on March 15, 2012. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Tuesday tossed out some of Blagojevich's convictions.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich waves as he departs his Chicago home for Littleton, Colo., to begin his 14-year prison sentence on March 15, 2012. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Tuesday tossed out some of Blagojevich's convictions.

A federal appeals court in Chicago has thrown out five of 18 counts against disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is serving a 14-year sentence for abusing the authority of his office for personal financial gain.

The five counts were found invalid on technical grounds. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said the Democrat is "not entitled to be released" pending further court proceedings. The court called the evidence against Blagojevich "overwhelming."

"It is not possible to call the 168 months unlawfully high for Blagojevich's crimes, but the district judge should consider on remand whether it is the most appropriate sentence," Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote in Tuesday's opinion.

Blagojevich, who was sentenced in June 2011, was charged with, among other things, trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat formerly occupied by President Obama. But the governor had maintained that while he was a flawed man, he wasn't a criminal. His appeal, following his conviction, centered on the assertion he had merely engaged in politics as usual.

The Chicago Tribune has curated the documents — and audio — used in the original trial, and you can find those here.

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