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November 29, 2005

Long (above-guideline) sentence for state senator

This AP story reports on a high-profile federal sentencing in a political corruption case from Georgia.  (The White Collar Crime Prof Blog has background on the case in this post.)  Here are highlights from the report:

Former state Sen. Charles Walker was sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison on Tuesday. Judge Dudley Bowen Jr. sentenced the senator to serve 121 months in prison for tax evasion, mail fraud and conspiracy. The judge chose to lengthen Walker's sentence beyond federal guidelines as a "deterrent for others who might be similarly inclined."

I wonder if this long (above-guideline) sentence might set some sort of a record in political corruption cases.  I also wonder if the many other politicians in trouble these days are taking note.

November 29, 2005 at 02:40 PM | Permalink


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From the description, this does not appear to be a borderline case. This guy was corrupt through and through.

On the other hand, the judge's reasoning is dubious. To someone like this defendant, the prospect of even one year in prison probably seems rather frightening. To go above the already-severe guideline sentences for deterrent reasons alone seems questionable.

Posted by: Marc Shepherd | Nov 29, 2005 3:09:03 PM

I have a client, the former governor of Louisiana, who at age 72 received a sentence of 121 months. This was the bottom of his guideline range, not an upward departure and was pre-Booker.

Posted by: Richard Crane | Nov 30, 2005 11:42:46 AM

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