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‘I truly believe my best days are still ahead of me’: Blagojevich reflects one year after prison release

CHICAGO – One year in the past this week marks the anniversary of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s release from federal prison.

WGN’s Julie Unruh was the primary reporter to talk with Blagojevich after President Trump commuted his sentence and let him out of prison.

Now one year later, he’s sitting down together with her once more.

He made it clear, whereas the remaining of us might have felt like prisoners in our personal properties throughout lockdown, for him, it was a joyous reunion along with his household.

Blagojevich has no regret about his previous on the age of 64. He’s making amends with some White Sox followers these days, however not with Illinois voters or anybody else he might have wronged throughout his political career.

Home ultimately, he’s still operating seven to eight miles, three to 4 occasions per week. For Blagojevich, huffing and puffing as he weaves his means by means of Chicago neighborhoods, even in sub zero temperatures, is liberating.

“After running those circles for eight years, everything looks so much prettier to me now that I’m home in Chicago, my hometown,” he stated.

Blagojevich is still as chatty and as upbeat as ever, however referred to as his eight years in federal prison the loneliest interval of his life.

“That loneliness and sadness is a constant companion,” Blagojevich stated. “There is a hole in your heart and you feel it.”

Fast ahead to 2020, when he left prison and headed for his personal home, WGN News was there to talk with him first.

A bit shocked, dazed and silver topped after all that point, the simply launched ex-governor shook some arms within the Denver airport, stated he seemed ahead to a banana cut up, and immediately thanked the president who set him free.

Today, his emotions towards former President Trump are no totally different.

“Of course I am still a Trumpocrat, Blagojevich said. “He liberated me.”

The former governor spoke to us whereas quarantining along with his household. He stated your complete household has examined constructive for COVID-19. Despite at present having the virus, he stated he feels good and his household is getting by means of it.

“I had the chance to spend my first Christmas at home in nine years,” he stated.

Since his release, Blagojevich has been making a dwelling by means of the celeb app Cameo; the place he offers video messages to individuals for $80. Blagojevich stated he’s practically 2,000 messages and can also be doing a little consulting for companies.

But his mission these days, stays targeted on felony justice reform.

“I am a living example of being forced to be imprisoned on a big lie,” he stated. “I truly believe I used to be an incredible governor.

Not solely does he preserve the justice system failed him, however he stated it frequently fails males of colour. Blagojevich stated he skilled it first hand as an inmate.

“It’s a broken system, a racist system. It is the rule, not the exception to over-sentence these young black men to prohibitively long prison sentences that deny them any chance at a second chance,” he stated.

What’s subsequent? Blagojevich stated he might write a guide or do some motivational speeches. He actually needs to spent extra time with household.

“I truly believe my best days are still ahead of me,” Blagojevich stated.