Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Granted Early Release From Prison: Report

WWJ News
May 22, 2020 - 9:45 am

Photo credit Amy Leang/Detroit Free Press/MCT/Sipa USA

(WWJ) Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will be released from federal prison, according to reports — most likely due to the pandemic.

According to a Friday news release from the Ebony Foundation, Kilpatrick has been granted early release after serving only seven years of his lengthy sentence.

Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years behind bars, convicted in 2013 on 24 felony counts of public corruption for a criminal racket involving extortion, bribery, conspiracy and fraud. Prosecutors said he used his positions as a state representative and then mayor to enrich himself and his friends. 

He was not expected to be patrolled until 2037.

After a fellow inmate of Kilpatrick's died of COVID-19 at the federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon was among those who said letting the ex-mayor out should be looked at, as prisons have shown to be breeding grounds for the virus.

"Certainly, the former mayor did something that he should not have done," Napolean told WWJ Newsradio 950. "But, realistically I think that we should look at it like — especially during this pandemic — are you mad at him, or are you scared of him?" the sheriff said.

"If you're scared of them, they deserve to be incarcerated. If all you are is mad at them, then we should figure out something, some other way to punish people that we're just mad at, we're not afraid of." 

Michigan state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo in February delivered a letter to President Donald Trump from Detroit leaders seeking clemency for Kilpatrick. Millionaire businessman Peter Karmanos has lobbied for a Kilpatrick pardon from Trump, while current Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan also expressed support. 

As for if the 49-year-old Kilpatrick will be held under house arrest, if he will come back to Detroit or where he will go is not yet known. 

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