By Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor, [email protected]
Kwame Kilpatrick, the former Detroit mayor who began his political career with so much promise, has spent the last seven years incarcerated, on a 28-year-sentence after being convicted of 24 felonies.
Now, Kilpatrick is reaching out to Donald Trump for a presidential pardon.
“Our country has always been the land of 2nd Chances!” reads the Facebook post signed by Kilpatrick. “I am hoping, confidently expecting, that I will have the opportunity to boldly move into the next season of my life; outside of these prison walls…I pray that I will receive the opportunity for Pardon/Clemency from the President of the United States as well.”
Kilpatrick is seeking a Trump pardon, as the president has recently dangled the possibility of high profile pardons for Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevich (former Gov. of Illinois), both former contestants of Trump’s former reality show, “The Apprentice.” Last month, Trump posthumously pardoned Jack Johnson, the first Black heavyweight champion of the world. Early this month he pardoned Alice Johnson, who was convicted of drug charges, after being lobbied by Kim Kardashian West.
Kilpatrick, a Democrat, was first elected Mayor of Detroit in 2001, at the age of 31, the youngest mayor in the city’s history. But, Kilpatrick resigned his office in 2008 after being convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice revealed through a text messaging scandal between Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty, his chief of staff, (the duo were engaged in an extramarital affair). Kilpatrick was sentenced to four months in jail and released on probation after serving 99 days.
In 2010, he was sentenced to 18 months to five years in state prison for violating his probation. In 2013, Kilpatrick was convicted of 24 felonies (connected to his time as mayor), including wire fraud, mail fraud and racketeering and was sentenced to 28 years.
“Yes, I have made some very bad decisions in my life. Yes, I betrayed my wife and family because of my own lust and sin. Yes, I failed to deliver on the promises and opportunities that was given to me by the people of Detroit, Michigan. And yes, I have been severely punished for it,” wrote Kilpatrick. “My family has forgiven me. I have asked the people of the city of Detroit for forgiveness many times. And most Detroiters have forgiven me as well…I pray that I will receive the opportunity for Pardon/Clemency from the President of the United States.”
A Trump pardon of Kilpatrick would wipe out his convictions, clemency would shorten his prison sentence.
If he served his full sentence, the earliest Kilpatrick, who is married with three children, could be released from prison is 2037 at age 67.