Sentencing This Week For Jackson Jr.

Jul 1, 2013

A federal judge will sentence Jesse Jackson Junior and his wife for stealing campaign money. His lawyers are expected to bring up the ex-Congressman’s mental illness.

Jackson Junior pleaded guilty in February to stealing $750,000 from his campaign account, and spending it on lavish personal items. Defense attorney Reid Weingarten then suggested he might bring up Jackson’s struggle with bi-polar disorder to argue for a lighter sentence.

"Those health issues are directly related to his present predicament. That’s not an excuse. That’s just a fact," said Weingarten.

Jackson's lawyers have since argued in court filings that bi-polar disorder could lead to compulsive spending. And they say the Democrat may not get the care he needs in prison.

Prosecutors want a federal judge to send Jackson away for four years - and his wife, Sandi, for 18 months. Sentencing is set for Wednesday.

Illinois Public Radio's Alex Keefe contributed to this report.