Imprisoned Detroit Mayor Asks Trump for Mercy
By Marc Daalder
Former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has asked for a commutation of his sentence, according to a public Facebook post and records from the Justice Department.
In a message posted to his official Facebook page and the "Free Kwame Project" website, Kilpatrick announced that he is "ready (mentally, emotionally, spiritually) to go home!"
He continued, "I am hoping, confidently expecting, that I will have the opportunity to boldly move into the next season of my life; outside of these prison walls."
According to publicly available court records, Kilpatrick filed a request for commutation of his sentence with the Department of Justice at an unknown date. Kilpatrick sought a commutation from President Barack Obama, but the request was not granted.
By filing for a commutation instead of a pardon, Kilpatrick appears to be acknowledging his guilt but protesting the length of his sentence, as commutations merely shorten sentences and do not wipe convictions.
In his public plea, Kilpatrick accepted that he had "made some very bad decisions in my life. Yes, I betrayed my wife and family because of my own lust and sin. Yes, I failed to deliver on the promises and opportunities that was given to me by the people of Detroit, Michigan. And yes, I have been severely punished for it."
However, he claimed, his family and "most Detroiters" have forgiven him. "By God's grace, I have received a pardon from Him, through Christ Jesus. I pray that I will receive the opportunity for Pardon/Clemency from the President of the United States as well."
The 47-year-old disgraced mayor is serving a 28-year prison sentence for two-dozen felonies, including racketeering, extortion and wire fraud. He was recently transferred to a low-security prison in New Jersey.
Although Kilpatrick has lost all appeals on his felony convictions, he is still fighting in the courts to avoid paying $1.5 million in restitution to the Detroit water department and $7.4 million to a contractor involved in the water bid-rigging case.
If President Trump declines to grant Kilpatrick's commutation, the former mayor will remain in prison until at least 2037.
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