Sentencing delayed for Jesse Jackson Jr., wife Sandi - New York News

Sentencing delayed for Jesse Jackson Jr., wife Sandi

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The federal sentencing for former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson will not happen this week as scheduled.

Both Jackson and his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, were to be sentenced Wednesday in a Washington D.C. courthouse.

An entry on the court docket says it was the judge -- and not the Jacksons or prosecutors -- who asked for a new date, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The Jacksons were to be sentenced after looting the ex-Congressman's campaign fund over a series of years, illegally using the money to buy personal luxuries -- from a Rolex watch to fur coats and pricey vacations. Jesse Jackson Jr., who pleaded guilty to looting his campaign account sentencing, and his wife, former Ald. Sandi Jackson, will not be sentenced this week as planned.

A new date will be set at a later date.

The couple pleaded guilty in February to looting their campaign funds of $750,000 over seven years. Sandi Jackson also faced income tax evasion charges.

Lawyers for both Jacksons, in asking for leniency, argued in memos filed last month -- supplemented with letters from constituents -- that they were worthy of shorter sentences because of all the "good works" they did while in public office.

In particular, Jesse Jackson Jr. cited his work on civil rights, bringing safer drinking water and federal funds to his South and South suburban district, addressing minority health disparities and securing funds for war-torn nations.

Rebuttal memos were due on Monday and federal prosecutors, in their replies said the Jacksons' do not deserve extra credit for doing their jobs.

"It is an elected official's job to perform good works on behalf of his constituents," prosecutors said in Jesse Jackson Jr.'s memo.

Making the same point for Sandi Jackson, they wrote she should not get less time "merely for doing her job as a public servant."

Prosecutors asked the judge for four years for the former lawmaker and 18 months for Sandi Jackson. Her attorneys on June 7 asked for probation; his lawyers pleaded for an unspecified shorter sentence.

In their rebuttal, prosecutors tore into another argument advanced by attorneys for Jesse Jackson Jr.: that his bipolar disorder justifies a shorter sentence.

Lawyers for Jesse Jackson Jr. provided skimpy evidence to back their mental illness claims, the prosecutors said.

Two doctors provided a combined "three-and-a-half pages of letters" in the June 7 memo that were "surprisingly bereft of detail about why the relief is warranted," the prosecutors wrote.

Earlier this year, prosecutors told Judge Jackson they may call their own witnesses to challenge any mental- illness claims the former lawmaker may make in asking for a reduced sentence.

But they did not and their Monday memo reveals the probable reason — the Jackson doctors put so little on the table that prosecutors did not have much to challenge to make their point.

The Jacksons have two children, 9 and 13, who attend private school in Washington D.C.

In order not to leave the children without a parent, the prosecutors are suggesting to the judge that Sandi Jackson go to prison first.

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