A federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned some of the convictions of imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to prison on a 14-year sentence, reported the Associated Press. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that prosecutors did not prove Blagojevich broke the law as he seemingly attempted to auction off who would take over President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat.
It was still unclear if Blagojevich, 58, would see reduced prison time or would be released. Reuters reported that the court said that Blagojevich was "not entitled to be released," pending further proceedings. Five of the 18 total charges were dismissed with a new trial on those five charges in the offing, according to CBS Chicago. If prosecutors decide a new trial would not be necessary, however, the court could go straight to sentencing.
BREAKING: Blagojevich 'not entitled to be released' pending further proceedings: court
— Reuters Politics (@ReutersPolitics) July 21, 2015
Blagojevich's appeal was largely seen as a long shot. He had been convicted of 18 corruption counts over the course of two trials. Eleven of those convictions were directly related to the Obama Senate seat appointment. The charges suggested the former governor attempted to swap the seat for campaign money or a job. Blagojevich was also convicted of other corruption schemes, including an apparent attempted shakedown of the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago for a contribution. He was arrested in 2008, just weeks after Obama was elected president.
The former two-term governor, currently serving his sentence in a Colorado prison, suggested for years that he was innocent. His appeal was based on the argument that Blagojevich merely engaged in commonplace maneuvering in which other politicians regularly engaged, according to the Associated Press.
Blagojevich began serving his sentence in March 2012, and it was estimated that he would be released in 2024 at the age of 67. His 14-year sentence for corruption was particularly long in a state that has seen four of the last seven governors go to prison.