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State rep. to ask White House for clemency for Kwame Kilpatrick

Posted at 10:54 AM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 10:54:27-05

DETROIT — A state representative will go to Washington and ask for clemency for former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

WXYZ reports Democratic Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo was invited to the White House for an African American history celebration, where she will present a letter regarding Kilpatrick’s sentence.

The letter is signed by Detroit caucus members and elected officials. Gay-Dagnogo says the prison sentence Kilpatrick received was disproportionate.

“If there is one thing I have been consistent about from the inception of getting elected, it is my commitment to the pursuit of racial equity in respect to criminal justice reform. No one is arguing the former mayor's guilt or innocence; what we're seeking not have is a conversation about is the disproportionate sentencing that men of color experience at every level of the system, and I am appreciative of the invitation and looking forward to having an opportunity with the President or members of his administration to discuss favorably reviewing the former Mayor's existing petition already before the President.
We don't have to agree on every issue, or even a majority of issues, to see the plain facts of this situation and recognize that those who issued Mr. Kilpatrick's sentence sought to make an example out of a powerful but flawed black man. This discussion is about changing that example to one of second chances and rehabilitation - the same opportunities he has given to a number of other recently incarcerated individuals. I welcome allies of all backgrounds in the fight for justice.”

Kilpatrick was Detroit’s mayor from 2002 to 2008, when he resigned following a corruption scandal. He was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison in 2013 for racketeering, mail and wire fraud, among other charges.

He has tried to appeal his sentence in the past but has been rejected in courts at several levels.