Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick wants prison sentenced overturned

Kwame Kilpatrick files motion to vacate prison sentence

DETROIT – Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is trying to get out of prison again.

Kilpatrick asked a judge to throw out his nearly three-decade prison sentence, claiming he did nothing against the law. His likeliness of success doesn't appear to be high, experts said.

The United States Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals have already shot down his first appeal, and this latest maneuver is his last chance.

The motion was entered Wednesday saying the court had made several errors, many similar to the issues in his last appeal before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court upheld the corruption convictions.

Kilpatrick, 47, was sentenced to a prison term of 28 years in prison back in 2013 and ordered to pay $1,637,087 in restitution. Kilpatrick told the court in February that he doesn’t believe that he should have to pay because it’s impossible to calculate the amount of money he took from taxpayers.

In his latest appeal, Kilpatrick claims there was no corruption on his part, and that the trial engendered such media attention that there was no way he could possibly get a fair trial. He said his representation was lacking.

The complaints are basically the same ones he made to the Court of Appeals, which went nowhere. On top of that, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his case.

Kilpatrick is adding a new peg to the argument by claiming he never committed extortion, bribery or racketeering as an official act.

Once a decision is made, Kilpatrick is without a road to further appeals. The former mayor is currently being held in federal prison in Oklahoma, but the legal filing was submitted in Detroit.

More information

Court records showed that Kilpatrick currently has 96 cents in his inmate account and has had an average balance of $55.34 over the last six months. 

The motion, which was entered Wednesday, alleges that the court erred in providing the jury with an incorrect instructions on the definition of “official act” and that a jury should have never found Kilpatrick guilty of the RICO conspiracy count.

Six court errors are listed in the motion, including allegations of an incomplete verdict rendered by a jury, the inability for a court to set a proper restitution amount, impermissible hearsay being allowed during testimony and inadequate trial counsel.

Kilpatrick resigned from office in 2008 after pleading guilty to perjury. He was later found guilty on 24 of 30 counts, including racketeering.

Sign up for ClickOnDetroit Email Newsletters (click here) for more stories like this.