Ex-Detroit Mayor Pleads with Federal Appeals Court for His Freedom

On Thursday May 16, ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s attorney, James Thomas, asked a federal appeals court to release his client pending his sentence for corruption. Kilpatrick, who was found guilty of racketeering and other criminal charges in early March of this year, allegedly fears for his safety because of a bum knee he allegedly suffered in a slipping accident on steps immediately after his conviction in March.

Kilpatrick and his attorney argue that he is susceptible to a prison attack, and asked that he be released so that he can have surgery on the knee, attributing the injury to a torn tendon. Thomas filed an appeal with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, writing that his client should be released to his wife and three children, and that Kilpatrick is vulnerable to attacks due to his inability to move, and the fact that he is housed with others who have been charged with both violent and non-violent crimes.

Although rejected by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmund, Thomas claims that Kilpatrick is not a flight risk because of his health, his financial state, and for other reasons. He also wrote in his appeal that Kilpatrick is not a danger to the community.

Thomas also wrote that his client is wearing a leg brace while waiting to have surgery. He stated that there were sufficient grounds for appeal, and that his client’s criminal history, notoriety, lack of finances and other factors make him no risk of flight.

When sentenced, Kilpatrick could face more than 20 years in federal prison according to a news article at Detroit News. He has been incarcerated since his conviction, and a date for sentencing has not yet been set.

Michigan appellate lawyers know that winning an appeal is not easy, and that it takes an attorney with considerable skill and expertise to prevail in these situations.


Whether you have been wrongly convicted in federal court or feel that the sentence you were given was harsh considering the offense, contact an experienced and aggressive Michigan criminal appeals attorney.