CHICAGO (AP) – A day before Rod Blagojevich's sentencing hearing begins, prosecutors are repeating their contention that the ousted Illinois governor has never accepted responsibility for attempting to auction off President Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat and other crimes.
Prosecutors made the assertion in a filing Monday with U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Blagojevich's two-day sentencing hearing starts Tuesday. Most legal experts say Judge James Zagel is likely to give the twice-elected governor about 10 years in prison.
The 14-page government document is a response to a defense filing last week that argued that Blagojevich was led astray by his aides and never meant to cross any legal lines.
Prosecutors say those arguments only go to show that "Blagojevich accepts no responsibility for his criminal conduct" and doesn't deserve leniency from Zagel, known for being tough but fair.
The 70-year-old judge must answer several nuanced questions in calculating a sentence. Those include what harm Blagojevich's crimes caused and whether any good he did as governor counterbalances the bad.
The sentencing hearing starts Tuesday. But Zagel will announce the sentence Wednesday, possibly to give him time to sleep on it.