Len Goodman Discusses Potential Blagojevich Commutation on Hardball with Chris Matthews

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH ON MSNBC.COM:  Hardball with Chris Matthews

 

CBS2: Blagojevich’s Supreme Court Push By Derrick Blakley April 13, 2018 at 5:46 pm

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The U.S. Supreme Court is considering former Governor Rod Blagojevich’s final appeal.

CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley sat down with the former governor’s wife and his attorney as the highly nervous weekend gets underway.

“It’s just something that hangs over me. We need a break. We need something to go our way here,” said Patti Blagojevich.

After seven years of legal wrangling since his 2011 conviction, this is Rod Blagojevich’s final attempt thru the courts at reducing his 14 year sentence.

“As far as his direct appeals, this is the end of the road,” said Blagojevich attorney Len Goodman.

In the appeal, Blagojevich argues federal law in different parts of the country leaves the lines too blurry between what’s a donation and what’s a bribe.

Blagojevich went to prison without hard proof that he took campaign cash in exchange for official actions.

The same standard that’s required elsewhere.

“There’s a confusion in the law and the Supreme Court needs to step in and settle it,” said Goodman.

“How many times can you tell your kids that you’re sorry and their dad’s not going to be coming home,”  said Patti Blagojevich.

And for Patti, a recent birthday prompted some sobering reflections.

“It’s one of those days when you sit there and think, is this really where I am in my life? Did I ever expect that I’d be essentially a single mom with my husband in prison,” she said. “Ten years ago, I was the First Lady of Illinois and and my husband had a very promising political future. So it’s kind of surreal. Sometimes you feel like you’re in an alternate reality.”

The U.S. Supreme Court met in conference to weigh the appeal Friday.

But Len Goodman doesn’t expect to know if Blagojevich’s case will be considered until Monday.

The odds aren’t very good. They never are.

The high court receives up to 8,000 appeal requests every year.

It only hears around 80. That’s a one percent success ratio.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2018/04/13/886972-rod-blagojevich-supreme-court/

Leonard Goodman on the Ben Joravsky Show

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Watch Len Goodman’s Interview with Phil Rogers of NBC Chicago “Blagojevich Marks 5 Years Behind Bars.”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 10.23.16 AMhttp://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Blagojevich-Marks-5-Years-Behind-Bars-416282343.html

 

 

 

THE ACQUITTAL OF CHRISTOPHER OLIVER

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Christopher Oliver was charged with first degree murder in connection with the beating death of a disabled man who resided at a group home at which Oliver worked as a developmental trainer. Oliver hired Goodman’s firm after his previous attorney had attempted to convince Oliver to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter, telling him that his case could not be won before a Jury in Central Illinois. Oliver stands six foot, five inches tall and he is an African American; the community where he lived was primarily white.

Goodman and Matuzak took the case to trial in January 2012. During a week-long trial, prosecution witnesses contended Oliver had kicked stomped a developmentally disabled man to death. But through vigorous cross-examination and a strong defense case, and aided by the great work of our investigator Kai Joy, we were able to show the jury that two of the prosecution witnesses were severely mentally ill, had given numerous conflicting stories and had been pressured by the police to implicate Oliver, and that the third witness had himself been implicated in the beating, and named Oliver only after cutting a deal with the State. We also introduced time sheets and cell phone records, overlooked by the police, which showed that Oliver was not even present for the attack but was called to the scene after the beating to care for the victim. At the conclusion of the case, an all-white jury in Charleston, Ill., quickly acquitted Oliver of murder.

CHRIS OLIVER and his brothers Tony and Matthew after Chris was acquittedIMG_2278

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People v. Christopher Oliver, No. 08 CF 451 (Coles County, IL)

Euka Wadlington: Read About Our Client Seeking Commutation of a Life Sentence for Non-Violent Drug Crimes

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EUKA AND STUDENTS

Euka’s Petition seeking Commutation of his life sentences for non-violent drug offenses was submitted to the Office of the Pardon Attorney in July, 2015.  As of January 1, 2016, the outcome is still pending.

Overview of Euka’s case:

For over a decade, Euka Wadlington—sometimes referred to by friends as “Eukie” or “Twelve”—has been a dedicated GED course instructor, a teacher of grammar, writing, typing, and life skills, as well as an avid chess player and organizer of a chess club and community chess tournaments. Countless people credit Euka with being a source of positivity in their lives as a teacher, friend, mentor, tutor, or suicide watch companion.

Unfortunately, Euka’s exceptional skills are currently available to only a very limited audience: Euka Wadlington is currently serving two concurrent life sentences in a federal prison for non-violent drug offenses.

In December of 1998, Euka Wadlington was charged in the Southern District of Iowa with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and cocaine base (known as “crack”), actual distribution of cocaine base, and attempted distribution of cocaine. The prosecution alleged that from 1992 to approximately 1998, Euka was a supplier of cocaine and cocaine base to persons in Clinton, Iowa. Despite its substantial investigation into the matter, the government never found any drugs on Euka’s person or in his vehicle, home, or business; there was also no evidence of unexplained wealth to correspond to the money Euka was allegedly making as a drug supplier. The prosecution relied entirely on the testimony of Euka’s alleged co-conspirators and others involved in the Clinton drug scene, testifying in exchange for leniency in their own cases, to establish his guilt.

On May 10, 1999, Euka was found guilty of the conspiracy charge and the attempted distribution charge, but was acquitted of the actual distribution charge. On August 5, 1999, Euka was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences. All of Euka’s appeals from his conviction and sentence have been denied.

At present, Euka is destined to spend the rest of his life in prison.

However, almost immediately upon his entry in to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Euka began immersing himself in education. Euka took various courses earned his Teacher’s Aide Apprenticeship certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. Euka then shared what he learned by teaching numerous courses. At the request of the prison staff, Euka co-created an inmate re-entry course, Criminal Lifestyle Intervention, which helps students gain the skills and emotional intelligence they will need when they re-enter society by pushing them to think critically about the choices they made that led to them being in prison.

Always looking for a way to engage others in intellectual pursuits, Euka has also developed various chess courses to bring together beginner, intermediate, and advanced level chess players, as well as a prison Chess Club. As Dr. Kent Dunnington—a philosophy professor at Greenville College who is also leader of its prison ministry—notes, Euka is a natural teacher who “… moves around the classroom energetically, encouraging his peers, instructing them, mediating between them, making them laugh—treating them each as significant equals.” Euka is often celebrated for his selflessness and genuine interest in the well being of those around him, exemplified by his patience and commitment to teaching several inmates how to read and write, and by his work as a teacher, which has helped numerous inmates obtain their GEDs.

Euka Wadlington takes full responsibility for his actions that led to his arrest and ultimately to his conviction. Euka has spent over 15 years in prison for a non-violent drug conviction and has spent much of that time dedicated to increasing not only his own knowledge and understanding of how to lead a fulfilling, successful, non-criminal life outside prison, but has also shared his knowledge and experience with everyone and anyone who wants to do the same.

If President Obama grants Euka’s request for commutation of his life sentences, Euka will undoubtedly continue his efforts to educate those who are at risk of either developing or continuing a criminal lifestyle by helping them gain the self-esteem, knowledge and skills necessary to give them real, positive options in life. If given the opportunity, Euka will use his experience to help save others from making the same mistakes that he made, which will benefit not only the individual, but their community, and in the long run our entire country, which so desperately needs more positive options for its citizens to achieve success and prosperity, rather than more prison cells.

Len Goodman Appears on ‘Chicago Tonight’ to Discuss Blago Appeal

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Click the following link to view Mr. Goodman’s interview: Len Goodman appeared on WTTW’s television program, Chicago Tonight, to discuss Rod Blagojevich’s appeal.

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