Monday, August 27, 2007

Ford Seeks Mercy; Judge Delays Sentence Until Tuesday

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2007 at 4:00 AM

John Ford asked a federal judge for mercy Monday but he'll have to wait until Tuesday to find out if he gets it.

Speaking for 10 minutes at the end of a nearly five-hour sentencing hearing, Ford told U.S. District Judge Daniel Breen he accepts "total responsibility" for his acts and was "ashamed" at the way he was portrayed on secret tapes during his trial.

Breen ended court shortly before 6:30 p.m. and will reconvene it at 9 a.m. Tuesday. He will give prosecutors and Ford’s attorney one more chance to speak, then he will deliver the sentence.

Thirteen friends and family members of Ford spoke on his behalf Monday. They said he is a good father and was a "go-to" legislator for 31 years.

The most dramatic moment of the day came when Ford himself spoke to Breen in a soft voice. He seemed to struggle to maintain his composure at times, but finished with a plea for mercy for his children rather than himself.

(See memphisflyer.com for full details Tuesday and this week's print edition of the Flyer.)

--John Branston

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