Jack Johnson Sentenced
December 6, 2011 by staff
Jack Johnson Sentenced, Former Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson was given more than seven years in prison Tuesday for what federal prosecutors argued was one of the worst instances of corruption in Maryland history.
The sentence of 87 months, with three years supervised release and a $100,000 fine, was handed down by U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte, who said, “When you lose trust in public officials, you lose trust in government.”
Johnson’s attorneys requested a lighter sentence, stating that Johnson, 62, who walked into court using a cane, has Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disease that can cause muscular rigidity or tremors. Prosecutors challenged the diagnosis, saying that medical reports only state that Johnson might have Parkinson’s, not that he definitely has it.
Johnson’s attorneys said the Parkinson’s diagnosis was confirmed in April and said a lengthy prison term could be a “death sentence” for Johnson, claiming he may have a severe form of the disease that could progress quickly. His attorneys said more tests are needed, but that Johnson would likely die in prison if his sentence was long.
“I pray that you will be merciful. I am a very ill man,” Johnson said in the courtroom. He added he wanted to apologize to the people of Prince George’s County, all the young people who looked up to him, his family and his wife. “My actions haunt me. I want you to know that.”
Messitte said he did not grant leniency based on Johnson’s medical condition, but granted a lighter sentence based on Johnson’s cooperation with the court. Johnson could have received a sentence of up to 108 months, Messitte said. Johnson was also ordered to participate in an alcohol treatment program.
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