Experts: Don’t Expect Apologetic Kilpatrick At Sentencing

Source: Robert Snell / The Detroit News

Detroit— Don’t expect a mea culpa or apology from Kwame Kilpatrick when the disgraced former Detroit mayor is sentenced today for a reign of corruption that weakened the city and damaged faith in public officials, legal experts and former associates said.

Kilpatrick, 43, who did not testify during his five-month corruption trial, will get an unchallenged opportunity at 10 a.m. in federal court to tout his accomplishments and lessen a potentially decades-long prison sentence by showing remorse. He could, however, provoke a stiffer sentence by denying responsibility or criticizing the court, experts said.

Lawyers who have tangled with Kilpatrick in court, legal experts and one public official convicted of corruption weighed in on what they expect the former mayor will say and offered advice for getting a lesser sentence in one of the biggest public corruption cases in U.S. history.

“He could tell the judge where the missing millions are,” said Bloomfield Hills lawyer Norman Yatooma, who sued Kilpatrick and the city for $150 million on behalf of the family of slain stripper Tamara “Strawberry” Greene. “What he will do is insist on his innocence and talk about how he was discriminated against by the judicial system — and get everything that he’s got coming to him.”

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