Detroit — Kwame Kilpatrick has been sentenced to serve 28 years in prison for crimes of racketeering and conspiracy committed during his six years as the mayor of Detroit. That sentence was just handed down in U.S. federal court by Judge Nancy Edmunds.
Edmunds said she was required to issue a sentence that is “sufficient but not greater than necessary” for a criminal enterprise that ran from Kilpatrick’s time in the state House to the mayor’s office. She described the former mayor as a larger-than-life character who helped himself to a jet-setting lifestyle. A significant sentence, she said, sends the message that corruption won’t be tolerated.
Kilpatrick appeared stunned on hearing his sentence, and a few in the courtroom crowd could be heard saying “Oh no.” If he serves the entirety of the 28 years, the 43-year-old would be 71 when he walks out of prison.
After declining to testify on his own behalf during the trial, Kilpatirck spoke before Edmunds made her ruling. It was an emotional and occasionally apologetic speech that included the omission: “I really messed up.”
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