US Can't Force Steep Sentence For Abramoff Cohort: Judge

Law360, New York (September 20, 2011, 4:15 PM EDT) -- A Washington federal judge on Tuesday declined to set a severe sentencing guideline for a lobbyist convicted of bribing public officials in the Jack Abramoff scandal, saying prosecutors could not punish the defendant for refusing to plead guilty and cooperate with them.

Prosecutors wanted Kevin Ring to serve 210 to 262 months in prison for helping Abramoff bribe officials with meals, trips and other gifts, while the defendant argued he deserved 21 to 27 months — a difference of roughly 17 years. U.S. District Judge Ellen...
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