Jesse Jackson Jr. and wife sentenced to staggered prison terms

Updated
Jesse Jackson Jr. (C) and his wife Sandi (front) arrive in court for their sentencing hearing in Washington, August 14, 2013.
Jesse Jackson Jr. (C) and his wife Sandi (front) arrive in court for their sentencing hearing in Washington, August 14, 2013.
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

CHICAGO—Wednesday, former embattled Chicago Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and wife Sandi have finally been sentenced for misusing $750,000 in campaign money and engaging in tax fraud.

Jackson’s promising political career began to quickly crumble when suspicion arose that he allegedly tried to buy his way into President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat.

After disappearing from the local political scene, a bout in and out of the Mayo Clinic last year, and a federal probe into his campaign finances, he resigned from his post as Illinois 2nd Congressional District Representative and plead guilty to the gross misuse of campaign funds on personal items.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has decided that Jackson will serve a 30-month sentence and pay back the campaign funds, plus an additional $750,000. Federal prosecutors have requested Jackson’s wife go to prison for 18 months following her admission to falsifying the couple’s tax returns for a few years.

But caught in the middle of a scandal of two would-have-been rising political stars are their two school-aged children.

Experts say it’s not common that both parents get indicted simultaneously, however the notion that the Jacksons could be receiving preferential treatment because they have young children, or because of their political prowess, is false, simply because when children are involved, the court and prosecutors make special considerations. In this case, prosecutors actually requested Sandi serve her sentence before her husband, but only after Jackson requested he serve his time before his wife.

A longer version of this article first appeared on theGrio.com. For more, click here.

Jesse Jackson Jr. and wife sentenced to staggered prison terms

Updated