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February 2, 2006

A political corruption sentencing to watch

As detailed in this AP article, today is the scheduled federal sentencing for "former state Sen. Ernest Newton, once one of Connecticut's top minority leaders, [who faces] a possible 6-year prison sentence for accepting a $5,000 bribe and other charges."   More background can be found in this earlier AP story, which suggests prosecutors are alleging uncharged criminality to support its sentencing recommendations.

This Connecticut Post editorial calls for a "tough" sentence, and this informative article notes some interesting benchmarks:

On one side is the year-and-a day term former Gov. John G. Rowland is serving in the federal prison camp in Loretto, Pa., for failing to report to the state and the Internal Revenue Service the $107,000 in gifts he received from state contractors and employees.  On the other side is ex-Mayor Joseph P. Ganim, serving a nine-year prison term following his conviction on 16 federal corruption charges, involving nearly $500,000 in gifts, services and cash....

[A] term of probation is what Salvatore C. DePiano, the head of Newton's criminal defense team, is asking Nevas to impose.  The U.S. Probation Department and Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Finnerty recommend a prison term between 57 and 71 months for Newton.

UPDATE:  This AP report indicates Newton was sentenced to 5 years' imprisonment, which is apparently a within-guideline sentence.  This fuller report suggests the sentencing proceeding was eventful.

CORRECTION:  I have heard from an informed and helpful reader that, in fact, Ernie Newton's corruption sentence involved a non-guidelines sentence of 60 months, down from the guideline range of 70-87 months found by the judge (and advocated by the government).  Interesting.

February 2, 2006 at 07:48 AM | Permalink

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