President Donald Trump has commuted the prison sentence of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who has served about seven years of a 28-year sentence for corruption.
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The announcement Wednesday morning was part of a flurry of clemency action in the final hours of Trump’s White House term that benefited more than 140 people, including rap performers, ex-members of Congress and other allies of Trump and his family.
A White House statement said that prominent members of the Detroit community had supported the former Democratic mayor’s commutation and it noted: “During his incarceration, Mr. Kilpatrick has taught public speaking classes and has led Bible Study groups with his fellow inmates.”
Kilpatrick, 50, also had asked for Trump’s help to get out of prison.
U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider, who has long argued that Kilpatrick should not be released early, blasted the commutation decision, the Detroit Free Press reported. The top federal prosecutor in Detroit said Kilpatrick’s original sentence “was very appropriately imposed.”
“My position on the disgraced former mayor of Detroit has not changed. Kwame Kilpatrick has earned every day he served in federal prison for the horrible crimes he committed against the people of Detroit,” Schneider said. “He is a notorious and unrepentant criminal.”
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Kilpatrick was convicted in 2013 of racketeering conspiracy, fraud, extortion and tax crimes. The government called it the “Kilpatrick enterprise,” a yearslong scheme to shake down contractors and reward allies.
Kilpatrick’s lawyers had asked for a 15-year sentence. But U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds agreed with prosecutors and ordered an extraordinary 28-year term.
With good time credits, Kilpatrick had been listed for release in 2037. He’s been incarcerated at the federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
In May, Kilpatrick was turned down for home confinement during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this article