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Jackson Jr.’s Sentencing Could Be Delayed

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U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Illinois)

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Illinois (CBS File Photo)

Jay Levine Jay Levine
Jay Levine is the chief correspondent for CBS 2 Chicago. He joined...
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(CBS) – It’s looking likely that former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.’s sentencing on political corruption charges will be delayed.

Jackson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, had been scheduled to learn his fate at the beginning of July. But questions raised in court Friday could keep him out of prison for at least a little while longer, CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.

The issues: Jackson’s mental health and what evidence the defense plans to present about his bipolar disorder. Prosecutors want to know, but Jackson’s attorneys declined to tell them.

“They do have to disclose eventually. The government is going to want notice. They’re going to want to have a chance to rebut evidence posed by the former congressman, and they’re entitled to it,” CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller says.

Jackson pleaded guilty in federal court back in February — postponing the battle over the role of his severe depression from trial to sentencing.

He’s been seen around the city several times recently, including Thursday evening, when had dinner in Hyde Park with his father’s former chief of staff.

He still has supporters here in Chicago, like those who shouted at CBS 2 to leave Jackson alone. The former congressman talked briefly reporter Mike Parker about people who are concerned about him.

“I’m grateful for their prayers. Thank you,” he said.

While he’s been here in Chicago, seen outside his home, in health clubs, and at Rainbow Push, where his supporters urged the courts show some mercy, his wife Sandi — the former alderman — and their two children have remained at their home in Washington D.C.

A judge Friday ordered Jesse and Sandi Jackson to be sentenced on the same day, July 1, rather than three days apart. On that day, the defense is expected to present medical testimony about Jackson’s mental disability.

The feds will want their own experts to evaluate and perhaps examine Jackson. And that could take time. Thus, Miller, the CBS 2 legal analyst, says it’s “unlikely” the sentencing will occur on the date now reserved for it.

At some point, defense attorneys will have to tell the government what kind of evidence they plan to present and whether that will be in the form of a report or by actual witnesses.

Prosecutors could demand their own experts examine the reports, records or even Jackson himself.

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