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Ex-Mass. Sen. Wilkerson Requests Leniency At Sentencing

In this 2007 file photo, state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson listens during a hearing at the State House. (AP)
In this 2007 file photo, state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson listens during a hearing at the State House. (AP)

A former Massachusetts state senator convicted on federal charges of accepting bribes blames her depression in a letter to a judge asking for leniency at sentencing.

Dianne Wilkerson apologized for her "wrong and inexcusable" actions in a letter submitted to U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock on Tuesday. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday on eight counts of attempted extortion for accepting more than $23,000 in bribes from a businessman cooperating with the FBI.

The Democrat says she was not motivated by money when she accepted the bribes, but blamed her untreated depression, and frustration over an inability to help her Boston constituents.

Wilkerson was the first black woman elected to the state senate but resigned in Oct. 2008 a month after her arrest.

This program aired on January 5, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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