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Blagojevich gets 14 years in prison despite plea for mercy

M. Spencer Green / AP

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich leaves the federal building with his wife Patti, right, in Chicago, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, after being sentenced for 14 years on 18 corruption counts, including trying to auction off President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

Frank Polich / Getty Images

Patti Blagojevich, wife of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, sheds a tear as she listens to him address the media at the Dirksen Federal Building Dec. 7, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.

msnbc.com wire services report:

CHICAGO -- Rod Blagojevich, the ousted Illinois governor whose three-year battle against criminal charges became a national spectacle, was sentenced to 14 years in prison Wednesday, one of the stiffest penalties imposed for corruption in a state with a history of crooked politics.

Blagojevich's 18 convictions included allegations of trying to leverage his power to appoint someone to President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat to raise campaign cash or land a high-paying job.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, left, departs his home with his wife Patti in Chicago on Dec. 7, for the second day of his sentencing hearing on 18 corruption counts, including trying to to auction off President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich departs his home in Chicago, Wednesday, on Dec. 7, for the second day of his sentencing hearing on 18 corruption counts, including trying to to auction off President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich left federal court a disgraced man, headed for 14 years in federal prison, convicted of 17 counts of bribery and attempted extortion. NBC's Ron Allen reports.