News outlets are reporting that former Detroit Mayor, Kwame M. Kilpatrick has been granted clemency and may soon be freed from federal prison.
Fox2Detroit is reporting that it received a press release from the EBONY Foundation that stated that Kilpatrick’s release has been approved. However, the report has not yet been confirmed by the Justice Department.
Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison for perjury, obstruction of justice, extortion, bribery, conspiracy, and fraud. He has served seven years of his sentence and was not due to be released until 2037. It is presumed that his early release may be linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 49-year-old former mayor has been housed at Oakdale Federal Correctional Facility. Reports indicate that the center has 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and five deaths.
The prison was the subject of a New York Times article that highlighted how the virus is impacting the federal prison system.
The EBONY Foundation, the national nonprofit arm of EBONY Capital Partners, LLC, has launched the initiative Home by the Holiday to combat mass incarceration by paying bail for people in need, providing them an immediate lifeline and enabling them to return home to their families and communities while awaiting court dates.
In February of 2020, the foundation began to publicly advocate for Kilpatrick’s release.
A month prior, millionaire Peter Karmanos pleaded with President Donald Trump to grant Kilpatrick clemency comparing his 28-year sentence to a “lynching.”
Michigan State Representative, Sherry Gay-Dagnogo personally handed the president a letter to ask for the release of the popular mayor.
As the report develops, there is no confirmation of whether or not the president influenced the release.
Kilpatrick was a former State Representative and then a two-term mayor of Detroit, elected at only 31. He was known as the “Hip-Hop Mayor,” sporting a diamond earring and a confident swagger.
He was convicted of using his office to enrich himself and his friends, as well as perjury related to an affair with his chief of staff.