I-Team: Jesse Jackson Jr. has new sentencing date

April 26, 2013 (CHICAGO)

The former congressman and his wife will be in Washington D.C. district court at the beginning of the Fourth of July holiday week. And there could be legal fireworks as the government may press to have its own psychiatrist exam Jesse Jr. before he is sentenced on July 1.

That is a new date that puts the ex-congressman and his wife Sandi, the ex-Chicago alderman, in court for back-to-back sentencings.

In February the former 2nd District congressman and his wife appeared in court for their initial hearing.

Judge Robert Wilkins had been randomly assigned to the case and handled the initial hearing.

Ten days ago, Judge Wilkins withdrew from the case because of past connections to the Jackson family.

Friday in Washington the first hearing by the newly assigned judge, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, no apparent relation, was held.

Despite the oddity of having three Jacksons in the same courtroom, Judge Jackson said she does have some longstanding professional acquaintances on the defense team, but no conflict that warrants her stepping aside.

With that, the sentencing date for both Jesse and Sandi Jackson was united on July 1. He will be at 9 a.m., she at 9:30 central time.

Mr. Jackson has bi-polar disorder and blamed his misconduct on the illness. Friday, prosecutors said in court that they may be entitled to have their own medical experts examine Jackson.

While Jackson's legal team has said there are no plans to invoke his mental illness in a plea for mercy, Judge Jackson Friday said she is required to consider his mental health when sentencing.

Under federal guidelines he faces a sentencing range of approximately four to five years in prison.

Jackson Jr. has pleaded guilty to misuse of campaign money totaling $750,000. His wife entered a guilty plea to filing false joint federal income tax returns understating the couple's income. She faces up to two years in prison.

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