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With last word, Blagojevich to ask for mercy

With last word before sentence, ousted Illinois Gov. Blagojevich to ask judge for mercy By The Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) ' With his freedom in the balance, impeached ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich gets his last shot at trying to persuade a judge not to send him away for a lengthy prison term.

The 54-year-old will address Judge James Zagel Wednesday ' on the final day of his two-day sentencing hearing.

Soon after, Zagel will announce how long Blagojevich must spend behind bars for 18 corruption counts that include his attempt to auction off President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

Before Blagojevich speaks, prosecutors will also make a brief pitch about why they think Blagojevich deserves up to 20 years.

On Tuesday, defense attorneys made a surprising admission that their client was, in fact, guilty of corruption. But they said he didn't deserve nearly as much time as the government is asking.

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