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Judge Denies Sal DiMasi’s Bids To Delay Sentence, Move Prison Location

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Sal DiMasi arrives at federal court Friday, May 27, 2011. (Photo by Doug Cope)

Sal DiMasi arrives at federal court Friday, May 27, 2011. (Photo by Doug Cope)

BOSTON (CBS) – A judge has denied former Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi’s bid to delay his prison sentence.

DiMasi, who was sentenced to eight years in prison on corruption charges, still must report to prison by 12 p.m. on Nov. 30.

“The requests of (co-defendant Richard) McDonough and DiMasi to postpone the services of their sentences until after Christmas and New Year’s, and in DiMasi’s case until about February, 2012, are not persuasive,” the judge said in his ruling.

The judge said that further postponement of their sentences would be “unusual.”

“(It) would understandably encourage the perception that those who previously powerful receive preferential treatment in federal court,” said the judge, in his ruling.

DiMasi had also requested to serve his sentence at a prison in Devens, Massachusetts, but the judge denied that request as well. Instead, DiMasi will serve at a prison in Kentucky by order of the Bureau of Prisons.

The judge said he had no reason to believe the Bureau of Prisons did not consider every factor, including the health of DiMasi and his wife. As a result, the judge said “it is not appropriate to revoke the court’s evidently inconsequential recommendation to the Bureau of Prisons.”

The judge added that prison sentences “regularly separate criminals from their families on special occasions” and that DiMasi and McDonough should have considered that before they committed their crimes.

“These unfortunate facts should have been obvious to DiMasi and McDonough when they considered committing the serious crimes for which they have now been convicted and sentenced,” the judge said in the ruling.

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