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Sentencing nears for former New Orleans mayor

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Two days before former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin learns his punishment for convictions stemming from years of corruption before and after Hurricane Katrina, his lawyer hopes to avoid what he calls a “virtual life sentence” for the man once seen as a reformer.

Defense attorney Robert Jenkins on Monday asked permission to file more paperwork in a back-and-forth with prosecutors over how federal sentencing guidelines apply.

Nagin — a Democrat who served from 2002-2010 — will be sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan. Jenkins says the 20-plus years sought by prosecutors amount to a “virtual life sentence” for the 58-year-old Nagin and would deprive his teenage daughter of her father.

Prosecutors’ say a stiff sentence is just, given the seriousness of the crimes and Nagin’s repeated denials.

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