Although the Justice Department typically exhorts judges to hand down stiff sentences, a prosecutor, Mary K. Butler, argued vigorously for a reduced jail term to encourage other criminals to cooperate in exchange for a lenient sentence.
Mr. Abramoff, Ms. Butler said, contributed substantially to the conviction of about 10 officials, including a member of Congress, Bob Ney, Republican of Ohio. “We need to send a message to our other cooperators,” Ms. Butler said.
Judge Huvelle said she had recognized Mr. Abramoff’s cooperation by sharply reducing his sentence. But she noted the corrosive effect of his behavior on public trust in government and, in the end, sentenced him to nine months longer than the 39-month sentence the government had sought. Mr. Abramoff, who is described by his lawyers as penniless, still owes about $15 million in restitution to various Indian tribes.
Friday, September 05, 2008
Abramoff receives stiffer sentence than prosecutors requested
Citing his negative effect on public trust in government, on Thursday a federal judge sentenced lobbyist Jack Abramoff to a harsher sentence than prosecutors had requested: