Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife to be sentenced this week

Jul 1, 2013

A federal judge this week is set to sentence Jesse Jackson Junior and his wife for stealing campaign money. As IPR’S Alex Keefe reports, his lawyers are expected to bring up the ex-Congressman’s mental illness.

Jackson Junior pleaded guilty in February to stealing 750-thousand dollars from his campaign account and spending it on lavish personal items - furs, electronics, a Rolex watch.

Defense attorney Reid Weingarten suggested back then he might bring up Jackson’s struggle with bi-polar disorder to argue for a lighter sentence.

“Those health issues are directly related to his present predicament. That’s not an excuse. That’s just a fact.”

Jackson Junior’s lawyers have since argued in court filings that bi-polar disorder could lead to compulsive spending. And they say the ex-Congressman may not get the care he needs in prison.

Prosecutors want a federal judge to send Jackson Junior away for four years, and his wife, Sandi Jackson, for 18 months.

Sentencing in Washington, D.C. is set for Wednesday.