Judgment Day For Jacksons In Washington, D.C. Court
UPDATED: 8/13/2013 9:00 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — They were once a political power couple from one of the most storied public families in the United States.
On Wednesday morning, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., and his wife, the former Ald. Sandi Jackson, will learn whether they will be spending time in prison.
It’s likely that the former congressman will face jail time, CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports. It remains unclear whether his wife will be as fortunate.
If a federal judge agrees to spare former Ald. Sandi Jackson from prison time, a charity in Washington, D.C., is hoping she’ll be allowed to perform any required community service with them.
The couple will be sentenced at the same time on Wednesday.
The Jacksons have pleaded guilty to misusing $750,000 of the Congressman’s campaign funds to fund their lavish lifestyle, and failing to report that money as income on their federal tax returns.
Federal prosecutors have recommended 4 years in prison for Jesse Jr., and 18 months in prison for Sandi. Defense attorneys have asked for a sentence of less than 4 years for Jesse — in part due to his treatment for bipolar disorder — and a sentence of probation only for Sandi.
Former prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg believes Jackson Jr. will likely get close to the four year recommended sentence.
“I would say so,” he said. “That would be my guess. That it will be a very significant sentence.”
Zeidenberg doesn’t think Jackson’s bi-polar disorder, which often leads to uncontrollable spending and compulsive risky sex, will have much effect on Judge Amy Jackson, who has total discretion on the sentencing decision.
A Bureau of Prisons court filing today was meant to counter arguments that he needs help for a mental illness whose symptoms include the very things he’s admitted doing. It says, “We believe the BOP will be able to provide appropriate care…..In the event an inmate requires attention of non-BOP…specialists, arrangements will be made….”
In a filing with the federal court in D.C., the non-profit group Martha’s Table said Jackson has been volunteering with the program, and said “we would be happy to continue to accommodate her in achieving court mandated community service hours, including processing the necessary paperwork and tracking of community service hours.”
“Mrs. Jackson approached me about the possibility of assisting with the myriad of services offered by Martha’s Table,” wrote Meaza yalew, a volunteer with the group.
Martha’s Table runs a food pantry, a thrift store, and a clothing distribution center for the poor in D.C. It also provides tutorial, educational, job training, and recreational programs for youths.
On Monday, Jesse Jr.’s attorneys indicated he would prefer to serve his sentence in a prison camp in Montgomery, Ala., or in the low-security prison facility in Butner, N.C. The prison in North Carolina is where disgraced former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge is serving his 4-1/2 sentence for lying under oath in a civil deposition about police torture.