[Updated at 1:33 p.m. ET] Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Blagojevich was also sentenced to pay a $20,000 fine.
The judge said he does not have report to prison for 90 days.
"I do accept his apology in his testimony, and I do believe he may regret the fate of others," Judge James Zagel said.
But that wasn't enough for the judge.
"It comes late," he said, of Blagojevich's accepting responsibility for his actions.
In announcing the sentence Judge James Zagel said Blagojevich's abuse of the governor's office "is more damaging than any other office in the U.S." besides the presidency.
Zagel noted that he did not resign as governor despite the indictments, but if he had it might have helped show he accepted responsibility.
The judge told Blagojevich that he had ruined the careers of a few people who worked for him. Zagel also questioned part of Blagojevich's accepting responsibility.
"Why did the thoughts of his children not weigh heavily on his reckless conduct?" Zagel said.
Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation applauded the sentence.
â€œThe sentence handed down today represents a repayment of the debt that Blagojevich owes to the people of Illinois," he said. "While promising an open and honest administration, in reality, the former governor oversaw a comprehensive assault on the publicâ€™s trust."
[Posted at 1:03 p.m. ET] Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich apologized to his state, his family and the judge, saying he is "unbelievably sorry," during his sentencing hearing for corruption convictions Wednesday.
"I've had plenty of time to reflect on all that's happened," Blagojevich said. "I'm here convicted of crimes and I am accepting of it, acknowledge it."
Blagojevich, a Democrat, was accused of trying to profit as he considered whom to appoint to succeed Barack Obama when he vacated his Senate seat to move to the White House.
"There is a line between routine politics, horse trading and campaign politics," Blagojevich said. "I thought they were permissible and I was mistaken."
He was convicted of corruption in June after a jury returned 17 guilty verdicts against him.
Federal prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 15 to 20 years, but his lawyers have called that excessive and asked the judge for leniency on Tuesday, even as they admitted for the first time that crimes were committed.FULL STORY
for all those who are upset about his sentence length. did it ever occur to you that he was found guilty for 17 different crimes. all that does add up even if you give him a year for each offensive.
LOL, WHO DID HE HURT?
well a lot of children for one since he embezzled a children hospital. also pretty much the entire state of illinois with all the things he was doing. money was disappearing left and right the entire time he was in office and i guarantee that it ended up in his pocket somewhere.
Conrad Murray, gets locked up immediately after sentence but this guys gets 90 days to report to prison, I guess white collar crimes pays
Really, 14 years? Tax payers have to pay to house him, feed him and his health care b/c he tried to basically bribe someone. It is a crime, so he should be punished but not at a cost to tax payers. Who could he harm again? Who is sleeping more soundly because he is off the streets? Make him serve some sort of community service or fine him thousands of dollars so the community gains something for his crime, not looses something. Prison should be reserved for those who can do future harm and we should find a way for society to gain from these types of offenders, not support them. PS – My opinion has nothing to do with my political affiliation.
He's going away for 14 years for abuse of power. If the playing fields were leveled on Wall Street and D.C. and similar punishment were doled out, there would be very few banksters and politicians. I don't condone what he did and he needs to be punished, but sending him away for 14 years is overboard. He is disbarred, can't run for political office, career pretty much ruined and financially in shambles.
James Arthur Ray gets 2 years. Jackson's Dr. Murray gets 4 (where they were responsible for killing people) and RB gets 14. 5 would understandable. 14 is just overboard.
Unbelievable...it it did not involve OBAMA....this would not have gone to trial..and how much did the government and the State of Illnois spend on this.....OBAMA at its best....
You're an idiot it had nothing to do with Obama other than that's who previously held the seat. Didn't matter if Mickey Mouse had held the seat he was selling it was the position not who vacated it. Some people want to blame Obama for everything and continue to show their ignorance in every instance.
Are you so dense as to think this shouldn't have been prosecuted?
here we go again...blame it on Obama.
O my damn i go to school with his daugter i feel terribly sorry for her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :'(
I certainly don't. Her father's a criminal.
So glad to see this i just wish he would have gotten more. He will serve at least 12 years. I feel sorry for his kids,but he should jave thought of that before he did all the damage. If you dont live in Illinois you cant even begin to understand what this means.
completely agree jane. like i said earlier. as a resident of illinois, we all knew he was up to stuff. it was public knowledge. so of course he got caught.
Bet he'll be out in 2 years!
To this day, I believe that Blago thinks that the only crime he committed was "getting caught". What a culture we have in government today. Sad state of affairs.
Then run for office yourself! Replace a corrupt official with an honest one (yourself).
Gosh, how many of us lowly citizens, when found guilty of a crime and sentenced to 14 years, are able to take 3 months off before reporting to a posh prison reserved for white collar criminals? Isn't the normal practice for us peons to be taken away in handcuffs and chains and deposited directly in the slammer. This lying blowhard will likely serve less than half of his sentence.
it depends on what you are charged with and if you are considered a flight risk. it happens a lot more than you think.
you don't know what you are talking about
I could run over somebody and kill them and not get 14 years in prison. I don't think the sentence or the 90 day waiting period is lenient.
Why did his sentencing take SIX MONTHS??? He should have been in the slammer back in September. Never heard of sentencing taking so long. It's usually within weeks or a month of the verdict. I think allowing him to remain free for 90 days is quite lenient also. Holidays or no holidays. Book him!
Justice has been served. To all American politicians, regardless of race, color, creed, preferences, agenda, and most of all – affiliation. I wish to ask you...
Who is next?
No, it's not there are too many criminals (killers, rapists, child molesters) that the government released them way to early on the street.
I said mocked out of presdient obama
Now that is just a damn shame. He is such a likable and upstanding guy. And always played by the rules. Well, the Chicago rules anyway.
What? 90 days until he has to go to prison?
Utterly ludicrous. Governor Blagojevich was THE best governor Illinois has ever had and ever will.
He did nothing different than Obama did trying to jockey to fill his prior position in the senate.
It was a witch hunt and nothing more. Governor Blagojevich does NOT deserve jail time.
I'm ashamed for the state of Illinois that this judge's politics ruled his decision. Shame on the judge.
Obama was and is more discreet and subtle when dealing like this - this sort of position shopping is routine business for Democrats
What are you smoking?
I live in Chicago and this was my tax dollars and my representative position in the U.S. Senate that he was playing games with.
He has 90 days to go back on the T.V. shows and do his stupid Elvis impersonation before going to prison where he belongs.
He is an embarrassment to the state of Illinois.
Do you live on the top floor of one of the tallest buildings in Chicago and don't have enough oxygen? WOW, the best governor of Illinois? Really and I suppose you think Obama man is the best President......Quick order some oxygen to get your blood corrected before it goes to your brain!!!
Democrats in DC do this all the time –they are just more discreet and subtle about it.
"In announcing the sentence Judge James Zagel said Blagojevich's abuse of the governor's office "is more damaging than any other office in the U.S." besides the presidency."
How about a Wall St. Office? Where the heck was this judge during our financial collapse?...oh that right he's in the top 1%.