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Jesse Jackson Jr.

Jesse Jackson Jr., once a rising star in the Democratic Party, has now become a tragic figure following connections to political and personal scandals, an extended illness shrouded in mystery, a resignation, and now, Federal charges.

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Convicted former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. entered Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina just before 10 a.m. Chicago time today, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

“He is in our custody, as of about a minute ago,” bureau spokesman Chris Burke said.

Jackson had tried to report to the prison near Durham on Monday, four days earlier than a judge had ordered, but he was turned away. Burke did not know what transpired to let Jackson enter custody today.

Click for more on this story from the Chicago Tribune.

Attorney and political expert Paul Lisnek talks to Pete McMurray about the inner-workings of Jesse’s trial and sentence.


Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced today to 30 months behind bars and his wife, Sandi, got a year in prison for separate felonies involving the misspending of about $750,000 in campaign funds.

In addition to the 2.5 years in prison, Jackson Jr. was sentenced to three years of supervised release. Sandi Jackson was ordered to serve 12 months of supervised release following her prison term.

The judge emphasized that Sandi Jackson was sentenced to exactly 12 months, not the year-and-a-day sentence that some criminals get. Defendants sentenced to a year or less cannot qualify for time off for good behavior in prison. But those sentenced to a year and a day can qualify, which means they may end up serving only about 10 months. Under this rule, Sandi Jackson must serve the full year.

Both Jacksons wept in court as they addressed the judge before sentencing.

Jackson Jr. apologized for his crimes and expressed special regrets to his mother and father.

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Dean talks with Terry Sullivan, the WGN-TV Legal Analyst, about former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.

Jesse Jackson, Jr., wife to be sentenced today

Democrat Robin Kelly claimed victory tonight in a low-turnout contest to decide the successor to former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in a 2nd Congressional District with a history of scandal-plagued representation.

With 77 percent of precincts counted, the former state lawmaker had about 73 percent of the vote to about 19 percent for Republican Paul McKinley, an unemployed political activist and ex-convict. The rest of the vote went to a Green Party candidate and three independent candidates who made the special general election ballot.

“Yes, we’ve seen some tough times and some setbacks. I know for some of you, your faith in your leaders is a little shaken,” Kelly told supporters at a Matteson hotel. “I thank you for that and I promise I will work very hard not to let you down.”

Kelly, who launched her campaign on a strong gun-control theme, was joined at her victory party by Nathaniel and Cleopatra Pendleton, the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old band majorette killed by gunfire on the South Side little more than a week after performing in Washington during President Barack Obama’s inauguration weekend festivities.

“Watch us take on the NRA, the tea party and anyone else standing in the way of safety,” Kelly said.

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SandiJackson-29418599Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, pleaded guilty today in what prosecutors said was a conspiracy to siphon about $750,000 in federal campaign funds for their personal use.

Jackson Jr. entered a negotiated plea of guilty this morning on one felony count of conspiracy to commit false statements, wire fraud and mail fraud. He could face years in prison when he is sentenced this summer.

Sandi Jackson pleaded guilty this afternoon to a single charge of willingly filing a false tax return, tied to the same allegations that the couple repeatedly tapped the ex-congressman’s campaign fund, used the money for personal use and then made fraudulent campaign and tax disclosures to cover up the misconduct.

Both Jacksons, wearing dark suits in court, had the opportunity to make short statements to the judge about their wrongs. But unlike her husband, Sandi Jackson merely answered the judge’s questions with a string of “Yes, sirs” and eventually sniffled loudly and dabbed her face with tissue as it came time to make her plea.

“Guilty,” she said in a tiny voice, choking back tears.

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Report: Jackson Jr, wife expected to plead guiltyWASHINGTON — Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson pleaded guilty this morning to a conspiracy count involving misuse of more than $750,000 in campaign cash, a crime that is expected to land him in prison.

Jackson entered the anticipated plea in Act One of a two-part drama playing out in federal court not far from the House chamber where he served. Act Two is on tap this afternoon, when his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, is expected to plead guilty to filing false tax returns.

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Jesse Jackson Jr is under “tight medical supervision,” according to his father Rev Jackson.
Jesse Jackson Sr. released a statement revealing his son’s struggle with bipolar disorder has been compounded by his legal troubles. He asks for prayers for his son, wife Sandi and their children.
Jackson Jr is accused of misusing $750,00 in campaign funds.
Sandi is accused of filing false tax returns.
Both are expected to sign plea deals.

JesseJacksonJr-26588894WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was charged today with violating federal law by misusing campaign funds.

Jackson, 47, a Democrat from Chicago, was charged in a criminal information with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and false statements. Typically, federal prosecutors use an information to charge defendants when a plea deal has been negotiated.

Jackson faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and other penalties, according to federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., where the charges were filed.

His wife, Sandi Jackson, was charged in an information with one count of filing false tax returns. She faces up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and other penalties.

Jesse Jackson is accused of diverting $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use.

Jesse Jackson Jr. indictment

Sandi Jackson indictment

Click for more on this story from the Chicago Tribune. reporting that Jesse Jackson Jr. conspired with his wife Sandi to illegally spend $750,00 in campaign funds.