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Sheldon Silver Had Sentence Cut to 78 Months From 7 Years Now Off Cusp No Trump Pardon

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 20 –  New York State political boss Sheldon Silver was re-sentenced on July 20 to 78 months in prison, to begin on August 26, and to a $1 million fine. Both represent reductions after Silver's appeal to the Second Circuit.

Inner City Press live tweeted the re-sentencing, below.

  On January 18, Silver was on the cusp of a pardon from Donald Trump, along with Lil' Wayne.

 But when the list came out early on January 20, Silver was not on it (though Steve Bannon, Kwame Kilpatrick and a man with UNICEF links were). We'll have more on this.

From Silver's re-sentencing: Judge Caproni starts up, rules that a purported victim who has asked to speak is not, as a matter of law (as AUSA Richenthal puts it) a victim, will not hear from him. 

Judge Caproni: Guideline sentence would be 17 to 22 years; she repeats that would be draconian. Asks for input, "please take your mask off when you are speaking."  [Not what SDNY Judge Rakoff said earlier today, here.]

AUSA Richenthal: The 2d Circuit's vacatur means little. He lied about it... He hurts, sure. The people of the State of NY were hurt, though. He was so good at hiding what he did. Impose the same or similar sentence.  Silver's lawyer: He looks old. His legs fill with water. Walking here, took a long time. As his wife Rosa, who is here, can attest, this case has worn on him. 

Silver's lawyer: The man is soft spoken and caring.  He has repeatedly told me to spend time with my family. The letters are just a sample of the people Mr Silver has helped. The take away is, overall Mr. Silver was a kind and caring person.

 Silver's lawyer: Last time, the court imposed seven years. Now two years later, things have changed. His health. He's two years older. The 2d Circuit vacated three counts. Judge Caproni: The 2d Circuit confirmed he engaged in the meso scheme, right? Yes. 

Silver's lawyer: The found that the post 2008 referral were not criminal. Judge Caproni: That's not what they found. Silver's lawyer: There's #COVID19. How about home confinement? Silver's lawyer: 97 Federal inmates have died of COVID.

Look at the Paul Manafort case - he was released. Judge Caproni: By the Executive Branch. Just to be clear. Silver's lawyer: What about Skelos? More egregious conduct Silver's lawyer: Judge Pauley sentenced a 34 year old Goldman Sachs-er to home confinement. [Inner City Press covered that too, here.]

 Silver's lawyer: He think about it every day - morning prayers, evening prayers. He describes losing his way during his time in public office. For all these reasons, we ask for home confinement and rigorous community service. 

Silver himself: I know a lot of people have lost faith in their government. There are a lot of reasons, but my actions contributed or certainly did not help the situation. It's very painful for me. I know how elected officials can help people in meaningful ways.  Silver: I'm sad. This is my 3rd time before you. My actions were ethically indefensible. I had a misplaced sense of entitlement.  Judge Caproni: This has been a long time coming. First he said, No discernible harm. Second time, he bemoaning becoming a joke 

Judge Caproni: If you thought you were doing good for New York, why did you hide it? This was corruption pure and simple. The 2d Circuit decision impacts only how much money you should pay.

 Judge Caproni: Still, I think a double digit sentence would be too much. Probation wants 10 years; the government wants more. You sought bail on appeal, got two years to live off your pension, unlike Mr. Skelos. The time has come to pay the piper.

 Judge Caproni: A non jail sentence is simply not appropriate. It is true prison at the start of the pandemic had problems dealing with the virus. The US as a whole is not doing well. I count 95 dead Federal inmates, not 97. It's mostly the same rate as nationwide 

Judge Caproni: I expect Mr. Silver will go to a prison camp, that he will be tested on arrival and before release. I couldn't guarantee he wouldn't contract COVID if not in jail. I previously sentenced Mr Silver to seven years.  "This time: 78 months."  Judge Caproni also imposed $1 million fine. Silver asks for Otisville.

Judge Caproni will recommend that; orders Silver to surrender by noon on August 26. If not yet designated, then to Marshals here at 500 Pearl Street. 

Judge Caproni: I'm not going to delay surrender. Mr Silver, his time has come. He has to start it. Let's see what happens. BOP has been doing a pretty good job, while much of the country has not been. Thank you all.

The case is US v. Silver, 15-cr-93 (Caproni)


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