The Philadelphia Inquirer called sentencing proceedings for politician Vincent Fumo yesterday on corruption charges “a farce, saying the light sentence “will change the culture little once Fumo is in his prison jumpsuit.” U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter sentenced Fumo to only 55 months in prison for 137 counts of corruption, conspiracy, and obstruction. His crimes went on for years, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars, says the Inquirer, but Buckwalter bent over backward to see good where prosecutors saw greed and arrogance.
Buckwalter chopped the (advisory) federal sentencing guidelines from a maximum of 27 years to 14 years. The newspaper says the judge let yesterday’s sentencing hearing drag on for hours, as Fumo’s legal team detailed how prison life would be bad for his health. Since when is prison supposed to be a Four Seasons stay with medical support from the Mayo Clinic, the Inquirer asks?