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Kwame Kilpatrick loses another appeal to get out of federal prison

Former Detroit mayor serving 28 years for corruption

DETROIT – Kwame Kilpatrick has been denied his latest application to appeal his federal prison sentence.

The former Detroit mayor was sentenced to a term of 28 years in prison back in 2013 after he was found guilty on 24 of 30 counts, including racketeering. He has been fighting his sentence ever since. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals had denied his original appeal of his conviction and sentence. He filed another motion in 2017 to vacate his prison sentence, and that was denied by a district court judge.

This time he was denied again by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court said he was looking for a certificate of appealability on his claims that the district court “gave an incorrect jury instruction, that his counsel had a conflict of interest, that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because counsel was a necessary witness, that his sentence was incorrectly calculated, and that the district court judge was biased.”

The court does not agree on any counts, and therefore denied this certificate for an appeal. Part of Kilpatrick’s argument that the district court judge was “biased” involved a wedding card. This is from the court filing released Friday:

“Kilpatrick argues that the district court judge should have recused herself because during a pretrial conference Kilpatrick’s attorney said, ‘Thank you for the lovely card for my wedding. My wife and I truly loved it,’ and the district court judge responded with, ‘You are welcome, Jim.’ Because merely sending a wedding card is not ‘of a specifically intimate degree to induce a reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts to conclude that [the judge’s] impartiality could be reasonably questioned,’ this claim does not deserve encouragement to proceed further.”

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick appears in Wayne County Circuit Court for his sentencing October 28, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan. Kilpatrick will spend 4 months in jail as part of a plea deal he accepted back in September in which he plead guilty to two felonies and no contest to a felony assault charge.

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