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Former House Speaker DiMasi Makes Emotional Plea For Leniency

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Sal DiMasi answers questions outside federal court, June 15, 2011. (Photo by Bernice Corpuz)

Sal DiMasi answers questions outside federal court, June 15, 2011. (Photo by Bernice Corpuz)

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BOSTON (CBS) – Former House Speaker Sal DiMasi was once one of the most powerful men in the state. Now, he’s about to learn how long he’ll be in prison after his conviction on racketeering.

Speaker Sal DiMasi walked into court with his family for the first day of his sentencing, saying nothing, unlike the day he was convicted.

A judge played a copy of DiMasi’s statements in court, which prosecutors argue illustrates that DiMasi is in denial, and not remorseful for his crimes.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports

But today DiMasi stood before the Judge to argue he’s a changed man. He told Judge Wolf, “I appear before you today a broken man.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jim Smith reports

DiMasi’s voice cracked as he told the judge he had lost everything he worked his entire life for. His law practice, his health benefits, as his wife is battling breast cancer.

He said: “I have brought dishonor to the office I held.”

Prosecutors are asking for at least a 12 year sentence, the most in state history for a public corruption crime, pointing out that DiMasi is the third House Speaker to bring shame to the office, and light sentences haven’t been a deterrent yet.

DiMasi told the judge he knows he will be going to prison, but asked to be allowed to remain free with his family, pending his appeal.

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