Former U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for stealing $750,000 from his campaign to pay for flat-screen TVs, travel, dinners out and a slew of other personal expenses.
The sentence was more than the 18 months requested by Jackson’s lawyer, but less than the government’s recommendation of four years in prison.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the sentencing guidelines of 46 to 57 months would be “excessive,” pointing to Jackson’s cooperation with the government, history of service and letters from supporters saying he could do more good in his community.
“This was a knowing, organized, joint misconduct that was repeated and then covered up over a period of years,” the judge said. However, she spoke about the need to balance Jackson’s conduct with his character. She cited letters from his constituents detailing contributions to his community and noted the government’s acknowledgment that Jackson displayed a “special” level of cooperation.