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Nagin still hoping to avoid 'virtual life sentence'

  // Monday, 07 July 2014 17:07 //

By KEVIN McGILL / Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Two days before former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin learns his punishment for convictions stemming from years of corruption before and after Hurricane Katrina, his lawyer is hoping to avoid what he calls a "virtual life sentence" for the man once seen as a reformer.

Defense attorney Robert Jenkins filed a motion Monday asking permission to file more paperwork in a back-and-forth with prosecutors over how federal sentencing guidelines should be applied in the case.

Nagin -- a Democrat who served from 2002 to 2010 -- stands before U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan for sentencing on Wednesday. In papers filed last month, Jenkins said the 20-plus years sought by prosecutors amount to a "virtual life sentence" for the 58-year-old Nagin and would deprive his teenage daughter of her father.

Prosecutors' say a stiff sentence is just, given the seriousness of the crimes and Nagin's repeated denials.

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