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Former Conn. Governor Sentenced - A Kiss

Bump and Update: Former Governor John Rowland got a kiss from the Judge today at his sentencing. The Judge sentenced him to 1 year and 1 day , which means it's a ten month (and change) sentence. Federal good time is 54 days a year, and kicks in after a year is served. Many judges will give the defendant a one year sentence (instead of a year and a day) so that he or she has to serve the whole year.

Rowland's plea agreement had his lawyers calculating the sentence at 15 to 21 months. The Government asked for 37 to 46 months, saying he lied to a probation officer and tried to hide a retirement account. The Judge agreed with the defense that the account was not hidden. The Judge also recommended the institution Rowland asked for in Massachussetts.

Judge Dorsey said he believed the sentence was in keeping with federal guidelines, and that he took into consideration Rowland's record of public service. Dorsey, 73, who was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, summed up Rowland's crime before delivering the sentence.

Update: Peter G. points out in comments that if you add the four months of house arrest to the ten months (and change) in jail, you almost get the 15 months which was the bottom of the guideline range in the plea agreement.

Original Post:

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland will be sentenced today in federal court. It looks like he will be going to jail for some period of time. From Connecticut blogger Kirby's Report:

With former Governor John Rowland set to be sentenced tomorrow, Rowland's lawyers and prosecutors submitted sentencing requests today. The prosecutors recommendation suggests that Rowland tried to deceive probation officers by hiding a $416,000 retirement account, which is why they recommend that Rowland receive a sentence between 30 and 37 months. The plea agreement that Rowland's attorneys orchestrated calls for a 15 to 21 month sentence.

....Rowland's attorney, William F. Dow III, denied that Rowland attempted to hide the account, which was already publicly documented. Approximately 90 letters were submitted on Rowland's behalf and Rowland will address the court in person tomorrow. Adding to the interest in this case, U.S. District Judge Peter C. Dorsey will also be faced with one of Connecticut's first major post-Booker sentencings.

Law Prof Doug Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy writes:

I pondered in this post earlier this week what sentence Rowland should get under Booker.  Most commentors predicted a within-range sentence.  Interestingly, this Hartford Courant editorial asserts that "[e]ven the maximum penalty of five years for the charge should be considered blessedly short" for Rowland.

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  • Re: Former Conn. Governor Sentenced - A Kiss (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 17, 2005 at 11:05:26 PM EST
    this is a setup.

    Re: Former Conn. Governor Sentenced - A Kiss (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 18, 2005 at 07:02:04 AM EST
    Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't it a breach of the plea agreement for the prosecutors to "recommend that Rowland receive a sentence between 30 and 37 months," when "the plea agreement that Rowland's attorneys orchestrated calls for a 15 to 21 month sentence"?

    Re: Former Conn. Governor Sentenced - A Kiss (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 18, 2005 at 07:35:20 AM EST
    Does he support the Death penalty?

    Re: Former Conn. Governor Sentenced - A Kiss (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 18, 2005 at 09:58:24 AM EST
    Off topic comments deleted, thanks. Feel free to send me an email if I miss them. The offender's IP has been banned.

    Re: Former Conn. Governor Sentenced - A Kiss (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 18, 2005 at 10:00:52 AM EST
    Fallujah Massacre is funny! but this ex.governor is a so and so! but i still say, "setup job".

    Re: Former Conn. Governor Sentenced - A Kiss (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 18, 2005 at 10:07:21 AM EST
    Rowland wasn't completely honest with the prosecutors. He concealed assets worth ~$400K. He also became a consultant for a firm that had received $50M in state business during his administration. Details here.

    Re: Former Conn. Governor Sentenced - A Kiss (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 18, 2005 at 01:55:25 PM EST
    He got a year.

    Re: Former Conn. Governor Sentenced - A Kiss (none / 0) (#8)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 18, 2005 at 03:38:32 PM EST
    As I read it, he got a year and a day (which allows good conduct time off), making time to serve 10-1/2 mos, followed by 4 mos home detention under probation office supervision, roughly equaling the bargained-for minimum of 15 months in custody. For the last 30 days of the prison year, and before the home confinement, he can be in a halfway house if the Bureau of Prisons will put him there.

    Re: Former Conn. Governor Sentenced - A Kiss (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 18, 2005 at 07:33:50 PM EST
    Rowland should be hung for treason. He did 1000 times wrong compared to Martha Stewart. Rowland getting only a year says that all of Connecticut is sleazy and corrupt, up and down, side to side. I'm talking about the politicians. I ask the US Attys to prosecute the CT Atty Gen., former Police Commissioner, and Rowland for treason (here) Steven G. Erickson aka Vikingas FreeSpeech.com

    Re: Former Conn. Governor Sentenced - A Kiss (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 18, 2005 at 07:47:24 PM EST
    How is 85% of a year (w/good behavior) "a kiss" while you previously said that Janklow's 100 days for killing a man was the right amount? Please tell, inquiring minds want to know. How is it that someone's LIFE is worth less than a third of the sentence for a thief?

    Re: Former Conn. Governor Sentenced - A Kiss (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 18, 2005 at 07:54:04 PM EST
    Janklow had a car accident. He neither planned nor intended his crime. It was a singular event. Rowland engaged in a sustained pattern of inappropriate conduct.

    Re: Former Conn. Governor Sentenced - A Kiss (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 18, 2005 at 08:59:21 PM EST
    Indeed, Janklow had a car accident. But he also engaged in a sustained patter of reckless driving over many years, as you surely know. Over the years, he used his power and privilege to escape sanction for his reckless driving. It wasn't a "singular event" at all but the inevitable result of a deliberate pattern of behaviour.