Patti Blagojevich asks judge for leniency for husband

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CHICAGO  — The wife of Rod Blagojevich is asking a federal judge for leniency ahead of a ruling on whether to reduce the 14-year prison term of the former Illinois governor.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge James Zagel contained in court documents filed Monday, Patti Blagojevich wrote she is "pleading . indeed begging" that her husband be freed.

Blagojevich also recounted the milestones her husband has missed with their two daughters since being incarcerated in 2012.

A resentencing hearing is scheduled Tuesday in Chicago federal court after an appeals court struck down five of his 18 convictions. The 59-year-old Democrat will appear at the hearing via a video link.

Zagel also received a letter from Blagojevich's father-in-law, former Chicago Alderman Richard Mell.

Prosecutors want Zagel to impose the same term, saying Blagojevich doesn't deserve leniency.

Letters in support of Rod Blagojevich (pdf)