Faith leaders call for Kwame Kilpatrick sentence commutation

Kilpatrick is serving 28-year federal prison sentence for corruption

Faith leaders hold virtual conference calling for release of former Detroit mayor

DETROIT – Another push began Friday to shorten the sentence for former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Ebony Magazine gathered dozens of faith leaders from around the country and many voiced their opinions on why Kilpatrick should be released from prison.

ORIGINAL STORY: Kwame Kilpatrick supporters call for sentence commutation

It’s been more than seven years since the former mayor was sentenced to 28 years. Everyone in the meeting agreed he deserved to serve time, but not that much.

In 2013, Kilpatrick was convicted on 24 federal felony counts, including mail fraud, wire fraud, and racketeering. His sentence is scheduled to end Jan. 18, 2037.

Bishop J. Drew Sheard, Kilpatrick’s former pastor in Detroit, said the justice system is disproportionally unfair to Black men.

“Kwame has been punished for seven and a half years. If this was about rehab, then Kwame is well overdue,” Sheard said.

Bishop T.D. Jakes, Kilpatrick’s former pastor in Dallas, said the sentence wasn’t about the crime but revenge.

You can watch the full online press conference here

When calls to shorten Kilpatrick’s sentence got louder and louder, the U.S. Attorney in our district said ”as the elected mayor, he ran a criminal enterprise that corrupted wide swaths of city government in the early 2000s at a time when city residents desperately needed honest and effective city services.”

He also added, “So far, Mr. Kilpatrick has shown absolutely no remorse for his crimes. He denies any responsibility for the 24 federal felony offenses of which he was convicted, and he has served only one quarter of his sentence.”

There was talk in May of Kilpatrick being released early due to COVID-19 deaths in prison, but the Department of Justice said there are no plans to release him early.

Read more: 7 years ago: Kwame Kilpatrick is convicted on 24 federal felony counts

About the Authors:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.