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Ahead Of Sentencing, DiMasi Letters Seek Leniency

BOSTON — A federal judge has made public the more than 100 letters of support for former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi.

The letters come as DiMasi’s sentencing hearing for his conviction on corruption charges begins Thursday.

The letters for DiMasi come from state representatives, former Senate President Robert Travaligni, lobbyists for progressive causes, his family, North End neighbors and even the vicar of the Old North Church.

They credit DiMasi with the the state’s health care reform and marriage equality legislation, and his opposition to gambling. He’s called a champion of the downtrodden, a committed and unselfish public servant, a devoted father.

DiMasi’s wife writes that her family’s lives will be “shattered” if her husband receives a long prison sentence for his role in a kickback scheme.

The letter writers ask for clemency, understanding, a chance for DiMasi to redeem himself.

Prosecutors are seeking a 12-year, seven-month sentence for DiMasi. The convicted former speaker’s lawyers are seeking a three-year sentence.

Judge Mark Wolf is scheduled to sentence DiMasi over the next two days.

Wolf said lawyers will argue a number of issues prior to sentencing, including whether DiMasi and co-defendant Richard McDonough should be allowed to remain free while they appeal their convictions.

With reporting by WBUR’s David Boeri and The Associated Press

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  • http://twitter.com/TeaPartyUSA1 Chris Lynch

    How about a report on other Federal legislative corruption trials and sentences where the kickbacks and laws violated are comparable? I bet both legal offices would be happy to make their case in the press without attribution.

  • wareinparis

    While it is unfortunate that the family lives of Mr. DiMasi will be disrupted, perhaps shattered, I fail to see what possible bearing this could possibly have on appropriate sentencing. When a poor street kid gets into trouble the inconvenience to his or her family is not generally considered a mitigating circumstance. For justice to be real, and as blind as she is supposed to be, special leniency can not be extended to special people.

    McDonough is also in hot water for a no-show job paying him big money with a local special education collaborative.

    Let’s play fair here.

  • Footsie

    Do the crime do the time..

    White collar and politicians commit crimes and think they will get off easy if caught. I say set an example of these people and give them the STIFF sentanace they really deserve.

  • Laauger

    Leniency!! Absolutely not. He did the crime. Let him serve his time. Apply the laws to him as you would to anyone else. If they didn’t think they would be treated differently, they might think twice before succumbing to temptation.

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