WASHINGTON, May 10 (UPI) -- Former constituents of ex-Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson are asking a federal judge to sentence him to the maximum punishment, letters show.
Jackson admitted to spending $750,000 worth of campaign funds on televisions, appliances, movie tickets and jewelry. He will be sentenced July 1 and faces a possible four years in prison.
Several of his former constituents have written to U.S. District Judge Robert L. Wilkins, asking him to hand down the maximum sentence, The Hill reported.
"Murder would be a lighter crime, as these defendants have used the political hopes and dreams of the constituents as a blank check for deceit," Gregory Ritter wrote to the judge. "The crimes of this magnitude are not like a traffic ticket."
Many others agreed.
"A strong message needs to be sent and an example needs to be made!" Martin Dettmer wrote. "Please do everything in your power to see that Representative Jackson pays, and pays dearly, for his egregious and repulsive behavior."
Jackson's defense lawyers have petitioned for leniency, and have argued their client is mentally unstable.