Jacksons Hire Legal Team Ahead of Sentencing

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Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, are making moves in preparation for their July 3 sentencing in separate corruption cases. The couple reportedly hired eight lawyers, five for him and three for her, as part of their legal team. One lawyer, Carolyn Pelling Gurland, was a member of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s legal team.
 
Federal prosecutors last week submitted sentencing recommendations to Judge Amy Berman Jackson. They urged that Jackson Jr. get four years in prison for misusing $750,000 in campaign money and Sandi Jackson get 18 months for filing false joint federal income tax returns.
 
“When one views the Defendant’s history and characteristics,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo filed last Friday, “his financial condition at the time of the conspiracy, the nature and circumstances of the offense, the seriousness of the offense, and the need for avoiding unwarranted sentencing disparities, there can be little doubt that a sentence of 48 months is appropriate.”
 
“[Sandi Jackson] was not simply a beneficiary of her husband’s theft. [She] stole,” prosecutors said. “In fact, she stole a lot.”
 
Prosecutors want the couple to serve staggered sentences for the sake of their children with Sandi Jackson serving first.
 
Jesse and Sandi Jackson pleaded guilty in February and were warned they could be sentenced to nearly five years and two years, respectively.
 
Jackson’s father wrote to the judge appeal “for mercy.”
 
“I am not sure at what point Jesse Jr. began to foil his own ambitions,” Jesse Jackson wrote, “whether the depression began to set in, whether the duodenal bariatric surgery, which requires strict medical discipline, or where the bipolar disorder fit into the trajectory.  But I do know that when we as a family realized this, he has been under substantial medical treatment for recovery and in honoring his doctor’s prescription.”
 
The couple will be sentenced on the same day.
 
Read more at NBC Chicago.
 
(Photo: Associated Press/Evan Vucci)

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