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February 28, 2011

Sentencing memo for former federal judge urges probation and stresses mental health issues

This local article, headlined "Atlanta Fed Judge Busted With Drugs and Stripper Suffered Depression and Brain Damage, Sentencing Memorandum Says," reviews some notable sentencing arguments being made by a high-profile criminal defendant.  Here are details:

Ex-Federal Judge Jack Camp is hoping to stay out of prison, hoping a judge considers his sentencing memorandum that focuses on his mental health and problems in life on March 11.

In a memo filed in federal court in Atlanta on Friday, Camp’s attorney William Taylor of Washington writes that Camp has suffered from acute depression, brain-damaging from a bicycle accident and personal family tragedy that may have contributed to him getting busted for buying cocaine for a stripper he was having an affair with.

“They do not excuse his conduct,” his attorney wrote.”  They do help explain, however, how in May of 2010 a lonely man in the twilight of his life became entangled with a seductive prostitute more than willing to take advantage of his needs and of his misguided impulse to be her friend and protector.”

The memo notes that Camp entered a psychiatric hospital after his arrest last year.  The physician in charge of his evaluation and treatment, Dr. Miles Quaytman talked to the probation office....

On Nov. 19, Camp, who was on senior status, pleaded guilty to aiding a felon in possessing illegal drugs, possessing illegal drugs and giving his government issued lap top to the stripper he was having an affair with.  He has resigned as a federal judge, which is lifetime presidential appointment.  Camp bought drugs for the stripper, who was cooperating with authorities.

The papers also noted that Dr. Qaytman found that Camp suffered serious head injury in a bicycling accident in 2000 and he has no memory of that.  “In addition to his mood cycling disorder and the physical damage to the brain, Mr. Camp has faced a number of difficult and stressful personal challenges,” the sentencing memorandum said.

Plus, he had prostrate cancer, his mother has dementia and his sister has stage four colon cancer.  The document asked that he be sentenced to probation and community service. “No one can assess precisely how these features of his personal mental health and the sorrows and stress of his life interacted,” the filing said.

These kinds of offender-based sentencing arguments for leniency are not at all uncommon, especially since Booker made the guidelines advisory. But I believe that former Judge Camp was known for being not especially influenced by these types of arguments when he was the one doing the sentencing. But now that the sentencing tables have turned...

Related prior posts (which generated lots of notable comments):

February 28, 2011 at 09:48 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Absolutely no lenientcy at all...He had drugs, a gun and was with a stripper...All of you defenders know that a client of yours would be nailed with a stiff sentence...Its sad hes at this age and a Federal Judge.. But if its good enough for Joe Average, then its good enough for Camp....Give him a Life equiv sentence....He nailed many with the stiff guidelines, now its his turn...
No mercy for this Federal THUG....What goes around, comes around....The feds claim they can treat every ailement there is, and age is no problem...Gladly pay my tax dollors to have this guy off the streets...He knew full well what the consequences were, better than most anyone else...
Hang'em Hang'em High as Clint Eastwood would say..

Posted by: Josh | Feb 28, 2011 10:35:49 AM

LOL he's a criminal caught up in america's lock em up and lose the key...federal guideline system Hell i'd be depressed too!

Posted by: rodsmith | Feb 28, 2011 12:17:29 PM

If he's really been that messed up all these years, his cases should be re-opened and his decisions re-examined. He had no business making the weighty decisions required of a judge, if he was that bad off.

Posted by: 479 | Feb 28, 2011 1:11:14 PM

"... a lonely man in the twilight of his life became entangled with a seductive prostitute more than willing to take advantage of his needs ..."
I don't know if the defense lawyers here were actively trying to make men, as a gender, sound pathethic, but that's sure the effect they achieved.

Posted by: pat | Feb 28, 2011 2:03:07 PM

I suspect--though I hope I'm wrong--that this will become Exhibit Q''''''' for the wealthy, powerful, and/or famous getting sentencing breaks that an average person would not.

Posted by: Res ipsa | Feb 28, 2011 3:40:43 PM

Wow, seriously... what should be the fallout from a Federal Judge arguing that he was on the bench for more than a decade with brain damage and a psychiatric condition that impaired his judgment?

I am sure the sentencing memo is a bit of spin to make everything sound as bad as possible, but still...

Posted by: nyc esq | Feb 28, 2011 4:40:54 PM

“They do not excuse his conduct,” his attorney wrote.” They do help explain, however, how in May of 2010 a lonely man in the twilight of his life became entangled with a seductive prostitute more than willing to take advantage of his needs and of his misguided impulse to be her friend and protector.”

Wow. "Friend and protector." I love it.

Is this guy a defense attorney or a comedy writer? Or is there a difference?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 28, 2011 5:46:49 PM

In my humble opinion, true justice would be seeing him receive the same sentence he would have given a defendant who committed the same crimes. If he would have sentenced such a person harshly, then perhaps he should take a little of his own medicine. If he would have treated such a person leniently, well then I certainly do not begrudge him a little leniency in his own case.

Posted by: C.E. | Feb 28, 2011 11:58:59 PM

Young people find themselves trying to dig themselves out of fines, probation, and or jail time by mistakes in judgment they make at very tender ages and without the advantages of a higher education or careers of any kind let alone in the sophisticated legal field. This adult, educated and experienced man needs to get in the trenches with the systems' voiceless less fortunates over whom he has ruled. He may help them with his legal expertise and experience. This should end up being a win win.

Why would anyone assume the bizarre situation in which he was caught is outside of his normal code of conduct.

Posted by: Max | Mar 1, 2011 2:37:58 AM

No sympathy and no quarter for fallen crime demagogues in Congress, prosecutors and judges who end up getting pummeled by the thuggish system they perpetrated on the nation.

Posted by: John K | Mar 1, 2011 2:50:09 PM

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe. If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it. A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.


Posted by: Car transport | Mar 3, 2011 1:00:50 AM

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