The U.S. probation office recommends that former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell spend at least ten years in prison for the eleven counts of corruption he was found guilty of committing. The probation office calculated a recommended sentence of between ten and thirteen years in prison for the disgraced public official. U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer is not required to issue a sentence within the guidelines. He can exercise discretion to decrease or increase the penalty. However, legal analysts have pointed out that Spencer has typically given sentences that fall within the guidelines suggested by the U.S. probation office.
About a year ago, McDonnell turned down an offer to take a plea agreement that would have cost him no more than three years behind bars. He could have pled guilty to a single count of lying to a bank and escaped with probation or a much shorter prison term. However, McDonnell rejected that deal. Now having been convicted of eleven separate charges, he could spend over a decade in prison for his crimes.
The ex-Governor is scheduled to be sentenced on January 6th of next year. His wife will have her sentence handed down on February 20th. McDonnell was once viewed as a rising star within the Republican Party. His name was floated as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney in 2012, and at one time, he was listed as a potential future presidential candidate for the GOP. As Governor of a large swing state, Republican operatives expected him to have a favorable resume for winning a national election. However, that was before his star power unraveled in the face of serious corruption charges. Now Robert McDonnell can look forward to spending time in prison. If the judge follows the sentencing recommendations, McDonnell may spend the next decade behind bars.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.