The former Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson received a sentence of 13 years today — the longest term ever imposed on a congressman convicted of bribery. However, it was significantly below the 27 years sought by the Justice Department, which also failed in its attempt to have Jefferson immediately incarcerated. Instead, Jefferson, 62, will be allowed to remain free pending his appeals.
It was as good as sentence as Jefferson could expect. His attorneys had asked for 10 years, so he received just three years above the defense recommendation. The decision to allow him to stay outside on bond is a particularly impressive win for his lawyers.
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