Friday, December 9, 2005

A Step Down for "Duke" Cunningham

An article in the San Diego Union-Tribune (here) discusses how former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's life will change when he is sentenced on Feb. 27 after pleading guilty to accepting bribes from two defense contractors.  Cunningham may receive a substantial term of imprisonment because he admitted to accepting approximately $2.4 million in bribes, although his sentence could be reduced based on his cooperation with prosecutors in their investigation.  As is the norm in these types of stories, the change from powerful Congressman (or executive) to federal prisoner can be stark, and the "Club Fed" moniker does not change the fact that these people are in a prison in which their life is regulated in ways they were not used to in their prior position. An earlier post (here) discussed the top five "nicest" federal prisons, none of which are in California. 

The Union-Tribune story notes, with more than a little irony, that Cunningham was a co-sponsor of the "No Frills Prison Act" in 1995 that would have banned certain "amenities" from federal prisons, including TVs in cells and R-rated movies.  The bill never made it into law, which may provide some small solace to Cunningham and his fellow prisoners, wherever he ends up. (ph)

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