Former Kelly aid to be sentenced

    A former aide to Philadelphia City Councilman Jack Kelly is scheduled to be sentenced Monday for his conviction on three counts of conspiracy.

    A former aide to Philadelphia City Councilman Jack Kelly is scheduled to be sentenced Monday for his conviction on three counts of conspiracy. Prosecutors are asking for 6 and a half years, two years more than former Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Fumo received for 137 criminal counts. The decision prompted prosecutors to question whether federal judges have too much leeway now that guidelines are no longer mandatory.

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    [audio: 090807sptrial.mp3]

    Fumo’s four and a half year sentence surprised the legal community. But its unclear how the decision will impact sentencing of white collar criminals convicted of similar crimes. Defense attorneys are likely to bring up Fumo’s sentence.

    Craig Green is a professor at Temple University’s Beasley school of Law. He says judges are unlikely to be influenced either way, by Fumo’s sentence.

    Green: If judges are relatively new to the bench, sometimes they’re a little sensitive to political factors. But judges after a short time realize they’re going to make controversial decisions and people are not always going to agree with what they’re doing and are not likely to be affected by the outcry at Buckwalter and Fumo I would think.

    Green says sentencing disparities in the past, prompted the use of mandatory guidelines in the first place. Prosecutors are planning to appeal Fumo’s sentence.

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