How did former federal judge Jack Camp of Atlanta get off with a 30-day prison term after pleading guilty to a felony in a cocaine deal? The Daily Report says that the Justice Department may have been “outlawyered.” Camp’s sentence, which the government will not appeal, amounts to a new legal precedent in Georgia affecting whether a felon’s prior convictions may be used to enhance criminal charges against anyone helping that felon commit a crime.
Camp could have served four years in prison under his original plea deal, which included a felony and was made with prosecutors from the Department of Justice in Washington after local prosecutors and judges recused. Judge Thomas Hogan of Washington, D.C., sitting as a visiting judge in Atlanta, reduced the 67-year-old Camp’s felony plea to a misdemeanor. He also will serve 10 weeks of community service, pay a $1,000 fine, and reimburse more than $13,000 to the government for the cost of his prosecution. Criminal defense lawyers were stunned. Arthur Leach, a former federal prosecutor who now does defense work, called the conversion of Camp’s pleaded felony to a misdemeanor “absolutely amazing.” The downgraded plea, he said, creates “the perception that because [Camp] was a district court judge, he was treated differently.”