Two years for Jesse Jackson Jr
WASHINGTON – The son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson was sentenced to two and a half years in prison today after pleading guilty to scheming to spend US$750 000 (BDS$1.5 million) in campaign funds on TVs, restaurant dinners, an expensive watch and other costly personal items.
Jesse Jackson Jr, a former Democratic Congressman, gave an emotional speech to the judge during the sentencing hearing, apologizing and saying he wanted to “take responsibility for my actions”.
“I misled the American people,” said Jackson, who became choked up and used tissues to blow his nose.
Jackson, 48, had been a Congressman from Illinois from 1995 until he resigned last November. In letters to the court prior to yesterday’s sentencing, his family urged the judge to go easy on him, blaming much of his bad behaviour on his recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Jackson’s wife Sandra was also sentenced yesterday to a year in prison for filing joint federal income tax returns that understated the couple’s income.
She will serve her sentence after her husband gets out of prison. The couple, who have two children, 13 and 9, asked to serve at separate times. (AP)