Ex-Speaker Silver begs judge for mercy in sentencing

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Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver arrives at the courthouse in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. A jury heard Silver’s corruption case boiled down to two conflicting portrayals of the once-powerful Democrat: one as a greedy lawmaker who enriched himself with bribery and another as a seasoned politician who played by the rules […]

NEW YORK (AP/NEWS10) — Sheldon Silver, the 76-year-old former Assembly Speaker, sent a handwritten letter to his sentencing judge on Wednesday, begging the court to show mercy.

Your Honor, I do not want to die in prison… My fate is in your hands.

Letter from Sheldon Silver

Silver’s lawyers are urging the judge to spare him a prison term because of the risk of being infected with the coronavirus while incarcerated.

The letter from Silver, a Democrat, contained his biggest apology yet. In a seeming show of remorse, he blamed his 2015 political downfall and criminal charges on a corrupting sense of entitlement he developed while rising high in the state government ranks over many years.

His lawyers also filed arguments federal court in Manhattan.

Prosecutors say Silver should get seven years in prison after his conviction on bribery and extortion charges. A 2015 conviction was overturned on appeal, but Silver was convicted again in 2018.


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