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White-collar cons often get months to report to prison

Updated: January 10, 2012 8:22AM

Giving a white-collar criminal such as former Gov. Rod Blagojevich two months to report to prison isn’t unusual, experts said.

Former Ald. Ed Vrdolyak got three months after he was convicted of mail fraud. Former Gov. George Ryan was free for 14 months as his appeals on his corruption conviction worked their way through the courts.

“If there isn’t an apparent risk of flight or a danger to others, it’s not uncommon for the judge to allow a defendant to remain free prior to being assigned to a facility by the Bureau of Prisons,” said John Marshall Law School Prof. Lance Northcutt.

Part of the issue is the Bureau of Prisons assigning a number and finding a spot for a new prisoner.

Defendants with violent backgrounds or those deemed likely to flee the country are often locked up before and during trial and go immediately after sentencing to prison.

But those such as Blagojevich or Vrdolyak, sentenced late in the year, are often allowed to stay home for the holidays and get their affairs in order. Vrdolyak reported to prison Jan. 19. Blagojevich must report on Feb. 16.

Abdon M. Pallasch

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