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March 29, 2006

Gearing up for Jack Abramoff's sentencing

As detailed in news stories here and here and at the WSJ Law Blog, "[r]abbis, military officials, a congressman, and an NHL referee are among the more than 260 people who have written letters to the federal judge in Florida who will sentence Jack Abramoff on Wednesday."  But while the media is most intrigued by this outpouring of support, sentencing insiders should focus their attention on this remarkable 60-page memorandum in aid of sentencing filed by Abrahoff's lawyers. 

TalkLeft has terrific coverage of all these doings in this post, which explains that Abramoff's lawyers ask for a sentence at the bottom of the stipulated guidelines range (70 months), although a subsequent sentencing reduction is expected after Abramoff's cooperation is completed.  TalkLeft calls the defense's sentencing memo an example of "great, creative lawyering," and I heartily concur in this assessment.  Here is the memo's conclusion:

For the foregoing reasons, Mr. Abramoff asks the Court to sentence him at the lowest point of the Guideline range that has been stipulated to and recommend by the government. He asks the Court to impose this sentence in recognition of his extraordinary history of good works for his community and the country, and the extraordinary impact his incarceration will have on his wife and five teenage children.  He asks for that sentence be in keeping with all the factors Courts are now required to consider, and his extraordinary efforts to accept responsibility for his actions and cooperate to facilitate law enforcement's efforts.

UPDATE: More details about Abramoff's fraud and the likely developments in his case are available in this news story from lunchtime on Wednesday.

March 29, 2006 at 02:57 AM | Permalink

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