Feds Seek 15 Day Prison Sentence For Drug Using Ex-Federal Judge
Jack Camp, the former federal judge in the Northern District of Georgia, who pleaded guilty to three charges resulting from illegal drug use (involving guns and his stripper girlfriend whom he knew had a prior drug conviction) will be sentenced on March 11. The AP reports the Government is seeking a 15 day sentence.
Under federal law, use of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison. But if the offender has a prior drug conviction, the crime becomes a felony and is punishable by a minimum of 15 days and maximum of 2 years. The feds filed a recidivist notice, alleging that Camp should be sentenced as a prior offender because he aided and abetted his girlfriend whom he knew had a prior conviction.
Camp pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the possession of Roxycodone and marijuana by a prior offender; possession of controlled substances and conversion of government property (a computer he has since returned.) In the plea agreement, Camp acknowledged that the first charge carries a minimum 15 day sentence, but reserved the right to argue for a lesser sentence. [More...]
Both sides filed their sentencing statements this week. The pleadings are available on PACER. Camp's guidelines are 0 to 6 months allowing for probation. The Government says that due to the prior offender count, Camp must be sentenced to at least 15 days in prison. The probation department agrees with the Government. Camp argues the mandatory minimum shouldn't apply to someone who himself is not a prior offender, but merely aided and abetted another person who is a prior offender. The case law among the circuits appears to be split on the issue.
The Government, somewhat cleverly, uses last week's Supreme Court decision in Pepper (described here), which is a great decision for the defense, to argue for prison time.
Camp's sentencing statement contains a plethora of mitigation, from his bi-polar disorder for which he received the wrong kind of medication, to complications from a difficult operation for prostate cancer that required the removal of his entire prostate, to a bicycle accident in 2000 that caused brain damage. Interestingly, the defense says the temporal lobe damage caused by the accident didn't affect him cognitively, it just caused him to have poorer impulse control.
So from 2000 until his resignation in 2010 (required by the plea agreement) this judge, who was sentencing drug defendants and others to jail, was suffering from bi-polar disorder and temporal lobe damage, as well as engaging in illegal drug activity. And he says 15 days is too harsh a punishment. It will be interesting to see what the judge decides.
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