Tuesday, July 30, 2002 at 4:58 PM
Former congressman James Traficant was led away from a Cleveland courtroom in handcuffs after a federal judge sentenced him to eight years in prison. The maverick Democrat had argued he couldn't be sentenced in court because he's already been punished by his colleagues. But the judge rejected that argument. U.S. District Judge Lesley Wells told Traficant he has no respect for government and that he used lies to distract attention from the charges. He was convicted in April of bribery, tax evasion and racketeering. Traficant argued with Wells as she explained the sentence, shouting that the judge had prevented him from defending himself. Wells told the former Democrat from Youngstown that he did a lot of good in his 18 years in Congress, but that does not excuse him for the crimes he was convicted of. 90.3 WCPN's Janet Babin has this report.
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