Federal Judge to sentence Vincent Fumo

    A federal judge will weigh factors in the sentencing of former state Senator Vincent Fumo Tuesday at a hearing in downtown Philadelphia.

    A federal judge will weigh factors in the sentencing of former state Senator Vincent Fumo Tuesday at a hearing in downtown Philadelphia. The current guidelines put Fumo’s jail time at between 11 and 14 years. But judges are no longer bound by those numbers.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090713sptrial.mp3]

    Fumo’s sentencing hearing is expected to be a fierce battle between prosecutors and defense attorneys. In court papers filed recently, prosecutors argued for more than the the guideline range, while defense attorneys asked the judge for less time.

    Federal judges are now allowed to use their own discretion when it comes to sentencing.

    But University of Pennsylvania Law professor, Stephanos Bibas, says judges also do not want their decisions appealed later on.

    Bibas: Normally, judges tend to be more cautious and they’re not going to go outside of that range very often unless there’s something exceptional. And in this case, if there’s anything exceptional, it will push in an upward direction because people are outraged and what Fumo did was pretty outrageous.

    Still, Bibas says its unclear what federal District judge Ronald Buckwalter will do.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.