Sentencing postponed for Jesse Jackson Jr., Sandi Jackson

July 1, 2013 4:32:32 PM PDT
The judge has postponed the sentencing of former Congressman Jesse Jackson Junior and his wife, former Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson.

The former congressman pleaded guilty to misusing more than $750,000 in campaign cash, admitting that he put campaign money to personal use. Purchases include everything from elk heads for his office to meals, flights and Michael Jackson memorabilia.

Last week, a motion was filed to seize the Jacksons' homes in Chicago and Washington, D.C., to help repay that amount.

Prosecutors are seeking four years in prison for the former congressman, and 18 months for Sandi Jackson, who will be sentenced for failing to report the couple's income to the IRS.

Meanwhile, court officials say the decision to delay sentencing was made by the judge and was not requested by the Jacksons.

According to a court filing by the US District Court in Washington, the decision was made in order "to accommodate the court" and "the court notes that neither party has requested this postponement."

The reason could be as simple as the judge's schedule, or the upcoming July 4th holiday.

The Jacksons were scheduled to appear Wednesday at the same federal courthouse in Washington where they entered their guilty pleas in February.

Experts say preparing for sentencing is typically emotional for defendants.

"It could be stressful for the family and here double because both the husband and wife are facing jail. You also have the consideration here that they may seek to have one go to jail before the other," said Michael Monico, criminal defense attorney.

Often, sentencing day is when defendants like the Jacksons have the chance to apologize for their crimes and plead for mercy from a judge poised to take their freedom.

"It's a very humbling experience, to hear it from people who've been in it, they've been in positions of great power and it's hard to be much lower than they've been brought," said Gil Soffer, former prosecutor.

The Jacksons' attorneys could not be reached for comment on the postponement Monday. Information on a new sentencing date has not been released.

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