Trump Commutes Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Sentence
Before leaving the White House President Trump issued several pardons and commutations as is a standard act of all departing Presidents. One of the people who got their sentence commuted was Kwame Kilpatrick, the former Mayor of Detroit. Mr. Kilpatrick has only served seven of the twenty right years he was sentenced for corruption. He was released from prison on Wednesday according to the bureau of prisons.
The White House said prominent members of the Detroit community supported the 50-year-old Democrat’s commutation. “During his incarceration, Mr. Kilpatrick has taught public speaking classes and has led Bible Study groups with his fellow inmates.”
Kilpatrick’s sentence was reduced but his 24 felony convictions still stand. He is still on the hook for $195,000 owed to the Internal Revenue Service and $1.5 million to Detroit.
The Rev. Keyon Payton said after being released from a minimum security prison in Oakdale, Louisiana, Kilpatrick likely would go to Atlanta to reunite with his mother, sister and other family members. “Everyone deserves a second chance,” said Payton, who leads New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Pontiac, adding: “Twenty-eight years was far too long.” In 2013, Kilpatrick was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, fraud, extortion and tax crimes. The government called it the “Kilpatrick enterprise,” a scheme to shake down contractors and reward allies.
When Detroit’s financial situation was getting worse, Kilpatrick was accused of getting bags of cash from city contractors. He said he was sorry if he let hometown down but denied ever stealing from Detroit’s citizens. The U.S. Attorney in Detroit, Matthew Schneider, who is also a Trump appointee, slammed that decision to release Kilpatrick. “He is a notorious and unrepentant criminal, Schneider said.
Kilpatrick’s original release date wasn’t until 2037, he also recently was denied a request for home confinement during the pandemic. Rev. Payton along with others provided a packet of information to a Trump aide, in a Detroit meeting back in January 2020. Alice Marie Johnson, who also was freed in 2018 from a life sentence, worked on Kwame’s clemency along with several others. The Current Democratic Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, who often criticizes Trump, was pleased with the commutation.
“Kwame Kilpatrick is a person of great talent who still has much to contribute,” Duggan said. “I know how close he is to his three sons and I could not be happier for them being together again. This is a decision President Trump got right.”
Strategist Adolph Mongo who was part of Kilpatrick’s 2005 reelection, had expressed hope that he would be released. “Trump is out of his mind, but he’s probably the only one who would do it,” Mondo said. No matter what you think of Kwame Kilpatrick, he is now a free man, one of the last actions of President Donald Trump’s Presidency.