Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to be Sentenced Today

Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick gets sentenced today. He's expecting to get hammered with a double digit sentence.

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    If (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 10:49:52 AM EST
    this is what the defense has as their best argument, then Kwame "The Hip-Hop Mayor" Kilpatrick, is going down for a long time.

    And many people will be very happy as he has done much, much damage to the city of Detroit, which certainly didn't need any help in its decline.

    And in case anyone has some time to kill (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 10:59:22 AM EST
    Here's a brief history on all the wonderfulness Kwame Kilpatrick has wrought upon the city.

    Always the politician (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 11:36:37 AM EST
    Kwame gave the "If I did something wrong, I'm sorry" line.

    Yes sir, it's not a question IF you did something wrong, Kwame.  You did many, many things wrong and were found guilty.

    Never, never take responsibility - the mantra of every politician. Except in this case, it's a criminal matter.


    Reading a live blog (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 11:58:41 AM EST
    From the Detroit Free Press, the judge is really laying into him.

    Holy F... (none / 0) (#7)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 12:30:14 PM EST
    ...that read was insane, the guy had no restraint what-so-ever.

    I mean seriously:

    Washington police no longer provided after-hours police protection to Kilpatrick because of his inappropriate partying during past visits.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 12:34:04 PM EST
    So anyone who advocated for lesser time (unless they were paid to do so, such as his attorneys) was clearly in the minority, and probably needed their head examined.

    And yes, there are people who feel he has been unjustly maligned.  (eye roll).


    I wasn't Advocating Anything... (none / 0) (#9)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 12:36:49 PM EST
    ...and yes, 28 years seems like a whole lot of time for corruption.

    I know you weren't advocating (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 12:47:17 PM EST
    but I was keeping in mind the mission of this blog and the fact that we are not supposed to cheer at someone going to prison.  :)

    Come On (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 01:14:23 PM EST
    This place is like the USDA, the FTC, or National Parks, no one is on duty, there are no rules...

    I am not advocating breaking them, but when the Sheriff's not in town, or busy moving...


    HA! (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 02:11:18 PM EST
    How about I just say I will do a happy dance?

    Like (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 12:49:43 PM EST
    And that is brief... (none / 0) (#27)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:34:53 AM EST
    A volume of books could be written, if it included the unethical, but apparently legal things this scumbag did.

    Example: Renting a Ford Expidition for just under $25K per year for his wife.  It did not require approval because of the $25K limit.  You could buy the car in less than 2 years.  I'm sure that Ford dealer was a Kwame contributor.   (May have been a Lincoln Navigator...can't remember).

    Example:  Airing videos to pimp the wonderful things he was doing for the city, but getting physical with TV reporters out to get the truth.

    I still wonder how many people left the city in disgust when he was re-elected, contributing further to the city's downfall.


    Here'why (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by NYShooter on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 01:08:00 PM EST
    Kwame's penalty might be called into question:

    HSBC found guilty for knowingly laundering billions of dollars for major Drug Kingpins and International Terrorist Organizations.
    ...Penalty.....Large fine, no jail time

    J.P. Morgan found guilty of bribery in Jefferson County, Alabama for paying officials to win major water & sewer contracts, and, also, getting them into worthless derivative deals that left the county bankrupt.(Only one of hundreds they did country & worldwide)
    ...Penalty.....Large fine, no jail time

    SAC Capital, and its founder S. Sachs, are close to a deal with the SEC in which SAC will plead guilty of running the largest insider trading hedge fund in history.
    ...Proposed Penalty.....Pay large fine, no jail time, and Sachs to walk away with 7 Billion dollars.

    Personal note:. I would question whether the ethnicity of the principals involved influenced the penalties.

    Those are corporations, and you can't (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 02:21:03 PM EST
    put a corporation in prison - it's the employees/executives that have to be indicted and tried and convicted - you know, actual human beings - and with few exceptions, that's just not happening.

    We've apparently decided to approach this all on a "cost of doing business" basis, "saving" all that money and all the manpower involved in bringing corrupt executives to trial.

    And in many cases, not even requiring that these companies admit their guilt.


    That's the point, isn't it? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by NYShooter on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 02:44:12 PM EST
    We've been pointing out for years now that the executives who are committing these crimes are allowed to walk, while sleazy, greedy, but, relatively small fry, characters like Kwame spend years in prison. Hiding behind their "Corporation," status, even though the law holds senior executives who sign off on illegal activities guilty of the crimes, is just a tactic that our justice dept. allows.

    For a good picture of the scope of this problem read this:

    "The six biggest U.S. banks, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Bank of America Corp., have piled up $103 billion in legal costs since the financial crisis, more than all dividends paid to shareholders in the past five years.

    That's the amount allotted to lawyers and litigation, as well as for settling claims about shoddy mortgages and foreclosures, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The sum, equivalent to spending $51 million a day, is enough to erase everything the banks earned for 2012."

    I'm not shedding any tears for Kwame, simply pointing out the discrepancy in the choices, penalties, the justice department decides to pursue.


    No, The Point Was... (none / 0) (#19)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 03:17:03 PM EST
    That 'Kwame's penalty might be called into question' because banks behave badly, which seems very unlikely.

    The reason to go after corporations (none / 0) (#23)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:44:54 AM EST

    rather than the employees is the government can extract a bigger fine.  You can also get the employees to testify against the corporation.



    Better Example... (none / 0) (#14)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 01:30:54 PM EST
    ...might be Blaggo, but he got 14 years, maybe The Duke, since he is already out.

    Not sure why you are equating companies to a person for entirely different crimes.  Using them as the bar would have no one behind bars.


    A 14-year prison sentence is excessive (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Peter G on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:52:41 AM EST
    for any financial crime or corruption offense, and a 28-year sentence is twice as excessive.  Neither sentence will deter future, similar, would-be wrongdoers any better than would a five-year prison sentence.  Together with all the other consequences of prosecution and conviction, including the financial penalties, a five-year sentence would also inflict sufficient punishment.  Our whole punishment system has gone crazy in the last 25 years or so, at great cost to society.

    Except in this case (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:23:26 AM EST
    It wasn't one "financial crime" offense. He was found guilty on 24 of 30 charges, including racketeering, bribery, extortion, bid-rigging, attempted extortion, mail fraud, wire fraud, filing false tax forms, and income tax evasion.

    Not to mention he's already gone to jail for perjury, and has violated his probation by not making restitution (he still owes the city $850,000).


    I had not overlooked the multiple counts (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Peter G on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 12:39:53 PM EST
    That's utterly routine and means nothing. In a federal case, there can almost always be as many counts in the case as the prosecutor chooses to file. I was referring to the case, not to any one count. I did not consider the prior similar record, however; that might support some further upward adjustment.  Not to 28 years, though. Not even to more than ten.  Never.

    His co-defendant (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 01:06:10 PM EST
    Bobby Ferguson was sentenced today.  He got 21 years, less time than Kwame because,  unlike Kwame, he was not a public official entrusted with the duties of public trust.

    Agreed... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 12:19:53 PM EST
    ...see comment #9.

    So what exactly is the length of sentence (none / 0) (#31)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 03:00:38 PM EST
    at which any additional time would cease to be an additional deterrent?

    Is deterrence the guiding factor for appropriate sentencing?


    All the competent studies show (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Peter G on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 03:41:18 PM EST
    that deterrence is related to the criminal's perceived risk of getting caught and punished at all, and not significantly correlated to the extent of punishment. (Think of what your foot on the accelerator does when you see a police car behind you on the highway.)  And yes, deterrence is one of the four most important purposes of criminal punishment (just deserts, general deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation), although scholars have identified more than four in all.  As I mentioned in my earlier comment, I believe, based on decades of reading and of experience as well, that sentences of imprisonment above five years serve no valid purpose other than incapacitation, and are destructive and/or counterproductive to some purposes.  BTW, in Europe and many other countries, sentences of more than five years are rare, and are used only for the most inveterately violent of criminals.

    Well... (none / 0) (#33)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 04:07:08 PM EST
    ...speaking of Europe.  I am not the Law & Order type, but when I read that  Anders Breivik's minimum sentence was 10 years, the max in Norway, I about fell out of my chair.  Doubtful he will get out in 10, but still crazy that it could happen.

    As far as Kwame, I would like to know where he is, real prison then 5 seems fine, so long as part of his release involved him not serving in any elected or appointed position in government and that he make real restitution efforts.


    He will serve in Texas (none / 0) (#34)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 04:50:31 PM EST
    Since his family lives there.  

    With good behavior, he can be out in 23 years, but there is no possibility of parole.

    And while I appreciate defense attorneys' points of view, and I appreciate the mission of this site, this isn't a case about rehabilitation. This is a case pure and simply about punishment, because little slaps on the wrist have not gotten through Mr. Kilpatrick's head - he was arrogant and unrepenting until the end.  There are literally millions of people across the state of Michigan and beyond who are very pleased with this verdict and feel that, finally, after many, many years, and many, many theatrics by Mr. Kilpatrick and his team, the city and the people can finally put this nightmare behind them and start to heal.  

    Justice was served.


    oh PLEASE. white collar excuse making (none / 0) (#37)
    by seabos84 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:10:50 PM EST
    it amazes me how these corp-0-rat execs justify their thieving AND there is a choru$ out there making excuses.

    when your decisions affect hundreds, or thousands, or millions of lives

    when you make MORE than 130,000,000 ++ other Americans (See Money Income from the old Statistical Abstract of the United States)

    a minimum 10 year sentence pounding rocks for white bread would insure that that when you get out your rolodex is dead and useless. it would insure that you have to start from scratch, zip, and nothing.

    you made more than 98 or 99%, you're gonna be more accountable - unless you consider our complete fracking Joke Of A Ju$tice $ytem excusable.

    studies from out of touch upper middle class pointy heads show that it isn't nice to treat their betters like the bandits their betters are.

    Deterrence ?? maybe it will, maybe it won't - I doubt much deters the kind of thieving pigs who think they deserve what they've ripped off from the community. So what.

    oh yeah - I'd also have a special tax on them - EVERY penny above the 1st quartile in income and wealth goes to the community, forever, until you're dead.

    they should spend the rest of their lives being thankful their hands weren't cut off and they were chucked off the back of a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.



    "Any financial crime" (none / 0) (#35)
    by coast on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 05:44:12 PM EST
    So Madoff should have gotten what 8 to 10 years?  Heck, he is old 5 years would have been satisfactory right?

    Something like that, yes (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Peter G on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 07:40:49 PM EST
    You are more or less correct.

    Do you have any insight (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by NYShooter on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 07:11:28 PM EST
    as to the type of prison Kwame is apt to serve his time in?

    Some prisons attempt to adhere to the principal that a sentence means the convicted person loses his/her personal freedom for the proscribed period of time.

    Others (unfortunately, too many) feel that loss of freedom isn't enough punishment, and, add to it, directly, or, indirectly, by overseeing brutal, inhumane, and demeaning treatment of their charges.

    I've spent a considerable amount of time at several of these, latter types of prisons (not as an inmate) and can assure anyone reading this that to call them "torture chambers" is not, in the least, hyperbole.

    I know that those who call a 28 year sentence for the type of crime Kwame was convicted of, "just," don't know what they're talking about. But, our lawmakers do, and, a sense of proportionality should rule their sentence making decisions, not currying political advantage from the "lock'm up & throw away the key" types.


    Only the oldest maximum security federal prisons (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Peter G on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 09:35:55 AM EST
    are at all like the state prisons that I think you are describing, Shooter. Kilpatrick was convicted in federal court of federal crimes, and will be assigned to a federal prison. The Bureau of Prisons' security scoring and designation system is contained in a published policy ("Program Statement") so yes, it is entirely possible -- easy, actually, if you understand their rules -- to predict the sort of prison.  A 28-year sentence, discounted for the standard rate of "good conduct time," yields a net 24 years and 4 months to serve (less any time already served in pretrial detention).  A male inmate with more than 20 years left to serve will "ordinarily" be excluded at first from minimum ("camp") or low security, and will instead be assigned to a medium security Federal Correctional Institution.  Medium security has double razor wire fences, or a wall, and many of the inmates there will be recidivists and/or have some history of violence.  (Maximum security is mostly full of lifers and the incorrigibly violent.) Federal prisons are on average substantially safer, cleaner and healthier than state prisons, but that's not saying much. Standard policy is to try to assign everyone to an institution within 500 miles of "home," with some exceptions ... one of which is notoriety and local influence, for which Kilpatrick may qualify.  That factor could result in his being designated to a medium security prison a thousand miles or more from family. A designation decision will ordinarily be made (by a special office of the Bureau of Prisons located in Grand Prairie, Texas) within a week or so after sentencing.

    thanks, Peter (none / 0) (#40)
    by NYShooter on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 09:30:55 PM EST
    Very informative.

    My experience has been with Auburn, Attica, and Green haven, all in NY. A visit to any one of them will sear your heart, mind, and soul forever. And, you'll realize how little we've advanced as an enlightened society.


    Problem is (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 02:16:08 PM EST
    The guidelines called for 30 years and millions more in restitution, so Kwame kinda got a break here.

    And winning an appeal seems to be a remote possibility.


    What are (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 10:14:41 PM EST
    the odds he is re-elected when released early?

    Why would he be released early? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:16:34 AM EST
    But I'd say the odds are much lower than David Vitter being re-elected.  Hasn't hurt him at all.

    Yep (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:20:45 AM EST
    More telling was this gem: "There's too many black children who don't have fathers. There's three more now."

    Kilpatrick is technically correct to imply that unnecessary prison sentences have, especially within the black community, unjustly taken too many parents from their children. The fate of Kilpatrick's progeny isn't so heart-wrenching.

    Kilpatrick wasn't some desperate soul selling pot so he could buy his kids food or pay the rent. He was a child of privilege who rose to a seat of power and influence. While focusing so much of his attention on dirty deals that stole from an impoverished city, he allowed Detroit's financial situation to spiral out-of-control. Unlike those serving time for non-violent drug offenses, Kilpatrick's sentence represents a legitimate debt owed to society.

    What's more, in all the time Kilpatrick held high political office, in all the time his mother (former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick) held high political office, did they use their power and influence to champion meaningful sentencing reform that would--and should--grant relief to the tens of thousands of black men currently incarcerated for little more than selling a dubious product to willing customers?


    He was too busy winning dubious state grants for Carlita Kilpatrick and pastor/political supporter, Edgar Vann, or currying favor with suburban billionaires like Matty Moroun to worry about that.

    It's beyond disingenuous for Kilpatrick to claim he's a victim of a flawed justice system when he did virtually nothing to attempt reform when he had the opportunity. Worse, it's an insult to the real struggles of kids with unnecessarily incarcerated parents for Kilpatrick to suggest his children belong on that tragic list.

    Thursday's courtroom spectacle showed finally that Kwame Kilpatrick is incapable of sincere penance. His performance, as much as anything else, justifies the stiffness of his 28-year sentence.


    It's "Kwame" not "Kwami" (none / 0) (#1)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 06:25:24 AM EST
    In case you want to make that correction.

    28 years (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 12:10:00 PM EST

    Documentary (none / 0) (#22)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:39:56 AM EST