Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Substantial cooperation"

One wonders how such things are measured.
NEW ORLEANS - Crooked businessman Aaron Bennett got a light 15-month prison sentence for bribing former Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Jiff Hingle, in spite of a string of corruption that’s followed him wherever he went for much of the last decade.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval imposed the sentence at the behest of federal prosecutors, who told him in records filed under seal that Bennett provided “consistent, impactful and substantial” cooperation that helped them win the coveted conviction of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin last month.
 We all remember the Nagin trial, right?  Remember the part where Bennett's testimony made this substantial impact on... oh wait he didn't testify at all. 
Nagin called Bennett “reckless.” In fact, Bennett is considered such a loose cannon by everyone who deals with him that prosecutors shied away from having him testify for them at the Nagin trial, leaving the true extent of his help a mystery.

Nagin was convicted on 20 of 21 counts, including a conspiracy charge that alleged the mayor received private jet travel from Bennett in 2007, just as Bennett and his partners began getting lucrative city contracts and help on private business deals from Nagin.
Maybe it has something to do with body language.
Duval apparently felt Bennett has been reformed since then. He said he could “see in Mr. Bennett’s face” that he’d learned his lesson and was truly repentant. So, Duval gave Bennett credit for time served, meaning he has only seven months left on his sentence and could get out in about four months under federal rules requiring that 85 percent of the prison term is served.

Duval also said he also considered the length of the sentence imposed on the man Bennett bribed, Hingle. He got 46 months in prison, more than three times what Bennett received. But Duval noted that Hingle was a public official and also faced a different charge, which related to his campaign finances.

Still, when Hingle was sentenced, the prosecutors asked for a reduction in his sentence because of his help in catching Bennett.
That's interesting.  I wonder how much time Nagin will get.  If it's more than what they gave Hingle, I may start rooting for the commenters to blow everything to bits.

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