Does Trump's Clemency Blitz Mean Hope For Kwame Kilpatrick?

WWJ News
February 18, 2020 - 5:04 pm

(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

DETROIT (WWJ) - With President Donald Trump on what's being called a "clemency blitz" — some wonder what, if anything, this could mean for Kwame Kilpatrick.

The imprisoned former Detroit mayor made a plea last month, asking the president for a pardon or clemency.

When Trump on Tuesday commuted the 14-year prison sentence of ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and pardoned pardoning former NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik, among many others, did that give Kilpatrick's supporters a glimmer of hope?

Maybe.

"Yeah, it may look good," Kilpatrick's former brother-in-law Daniel Ferguson told WWJ's Sandra McNeill. "But what I've learned from dealing with this stuff over the years is just because somebody does something one way...just look at the whole sentencing on how Kwame got sentenced."

Ferguson is among those who have been pushing for Killpatrick to be freed.

"I just wanna see a brother come home. That's all I want, you know?" Ferguson said. "I'm not trying to compare what he did with Blagovich to what he should do. You know, the right thing to do is to release (Kilpatrick)." 

Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison for racketeering in a city corruption case, while Blagovich received a 14-year sentence for public corruption.

While the cases have some similarities, it's notable that Blagojevich appeared on Trump’s reality TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice," and Kilpatrick did not. 

Among those lobbying for Trump to pardon Kilpatrick has been millionaire businessman Peter Karmanos, a Detroit native and the founder of Compuware. Karmanos said last month year that he forwarded a letter from Kilpatrick to Trump, asking for the sentence to be commuted to time served, and that the president was considering the request.

At this time, Kilpatrick's expected release date remains Aug. 1, 2037.