McDonnell’s Lawyers Now Tackle Page Counts

Bob McDonnell’s defense lawyers are not fighting for a page count on McDonnell’s sentencing memorandum, reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch. His lawyers have filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer to be allowed to surpass the 30-page limit on the memorandum.

“The government will likely ask for a very substantial prison sentence for conduct the defense submits is outside the heartland for public corruption cases,” McDonnell’s lawyers wrote.

The lawyers also claim that the extra pages are necessary to completely address “the entire life of the defendant.” They are seeking the ability to be able to file a 50-page memorandum on Dec. 23, the date which all of the parties are required to file their positions on sentencing. The U.S. attorney’s office remains opposed to the request.

“Mr. McDonnell stands before this court convicted of 11 felonies. He should be afforded no greater or lesser consideration from this court than an other defendants. As such, his motion that the court set aside the page limitations…for every other criminal defendant should be denied,” wrote the U.S. attorney’s office. They also argue that more than 30 pages of briefing is unnecessary.

Prosecutors also wrote, “Mr. McDonnell testified on direct examination, without objection from the Government, about the vast majority of his life, including: his parents’ background, times at high school, ROTC scholarship to Notre Dame, military experience, law school experience, prosecutorial experience, experience as a private practice attorney, his children and siblings, his General Assembly experience, his campaigns for  Virginia attorney general and governor, his professional accomplishments as an elected official and his relationship with his wife.”

Prosecutors continue to defend the need for the extension in order to present ” a full analysis of the unusual factors that distinguish this case and this defendant from any other public-corruption case on record.”

McDonnell and his wife Maureen are set to be sentencing on Feb. 20, after they were convicted in September by a federal jury for accepting more than $177,000 in gifts and loans from former StarScientific CEO Jonnie R. Williams, in exchange for promoting the company’s new dietary supplement.

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