Randy "Duke" Cunningham: Prisoner's Rights Advocate
Former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham is speaking out from prison. He regrets his guilty plea. His lawyers took advantage of his weakened state in getting him to sign the plea agreement. (Translation: He didn't get as much of a sentence reduction as he hoped for.)
[T]he former congressman now says that at the time he was physically weak from having dropped close to 100 pounds from cancer treatments and other maladies. He said he had not eaten for two weeks when his lawyers came to him with the proposed 33-page plea agreement.
He said he balked at first, but lawyers Mark Holscher and K. Lee Blalack told him if he challenged the charges it would cost him millions to fight the case, and he would risk spending the rest of his life in prison.
Now, he realizes his votes for tougher sentencing as a Congressman were misguided, and he plans to make up for it once he's released. For example, he now thinks the severe crack cocaine penalties were wrong: [More...]
He said his time in prison has made him an emerging advocate for prison reform.
“I didn’t know jack weenie about what people were going through in here,” he said.Cunningham said he wants to become a more public advocate for prison and prosecutorial reform. He said he has written members of Congress volunteering his help — and said that Democratic congressmen will probably be more supportive of his efforts than his former Republican colleagues.
Cunningham is scheduled for release in 2013.
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