Months away from parole, former Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham of California wrote to a federal judge earlier this month asking help to get his rights to carry a gun restored, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. But the plea, made in a rambling and sometimes disconsolate letter sent to Judge Larry A. Burns on May 2, was for naught. Burns, who sentenced Cunningham to eight years and four months in prison in 2006, replied he had no power to help him.
The correspondence is the latest missive from the Tucson, Ariz., federal prison where Cunningham has been serving his sentence. The former Republican congressman pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion and admitted to receiving gifts, cash and fancy trips from defense contractors in exchange for steering government work their way. Since his imprisonment he has denied taking bribes and said he regretted his plea. In the letter he said he is scheduled to be released to a halfway house in December.