Joel Bertocchi Discusses the Delay in Deciding Rod Blagojevich's Criminal Appeal
Joel D. Bertocchi provided comments in a Fox 32 News (Chicago) story on the unusually long time it is taking for a ruling on convicted former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's appeal of his 2010 conviction on corruption charges related to his attempt to sell his appointment of a vacant U.S. Senate seat. Mr. Blagojevich filed his appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in July 2013, and oral arguments took place in December 2013. Decisions in criminal appeals are typically handed down in three to six months.
Says Mr. Bertocchi, “There are a number of factors that would probably make this case take a little longer than regular criminal appeals," such as that the appeal involves reviewing two previous trials and that there is little precedent for the defense claim that Blagojevich's actions were mere political horse-trading. Noting also the possibility of a split decision in the Seventh Circuit, Mr. Bertocchi says, “If one of the judges is going to dissent from the other two, they probably want to see the judge's opinion before they write their dissent. It could be that the majority opinion is already written and that somebody is working on a dissent right now.”