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July 22, 2008

Federal prosecutors seeking tough sentence for political corruption

The latest development in the sentencing of a former Newark major is reported in this local article, headlined "Tough sentence sought for Sharpe James."  Here are some details:

Federal prosecutors Monday urged a federal judge to put former Newark Mayor Sharpe James behind bars for up to nearly two decades, saying a harsh sentence would help break a "culture of corruption" in New Jersey. The request was made in a new court filing last night in which prosecutors ripped into James for seeking leniency from U.S. District Judge William Martini before his sentencing on corruption charges next week.

A light sentence would "lead many in the public to conclude that the special treatment accorded to Sharpe James when he was a powerful public official continues to be his privilege now -- when he stands before the court as a convicted felon who disgraced his public office and lied to the public," they wrote....

Last week, James' defense attorneys pleaded with the judge for leniency, writing in court papers that any significant prison term would unfairly amount to a "lifelong sentence" for the 72-year-old Democrat. They urged Martini to consider James' age, his family obligations and years of military and public service....

In their court filing yesterday, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Judith Germano, Phillip Kwon and Perry Primavera, said the defendants were seeking "special and favored" treatment from the judge. They wrote the defense arguments were based on "a perverse theory that helping, with one hand, to improve Newark somehow bestowed upon them the right with the other hand to pilfer Newark's land."

Related post on the upcoming sentencing of Sharpe James:

July 22, 2008 at 08:16 AM | Permalink

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