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Jesse Jackson Jr.: Let Me Go to Jail Before Wife

Image: Jesse Jackson Jr.: Let Me Go to Jail Before Wife Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi leave federal court in Washington on Feb. 20.

Tuesday, 18 Jun 2013 03:17 PM

By Melanie Batley

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. said that if both he and his wife, Sandi, are sentenced to jail for fraudulent use of campaign funds, he wants to serve his time first.

"Mr. Jackson's health issues preclude him from working at this time," said a statement from his lawyers, according to CBS News.

"If he serves his period of incarceration first, Mrs. Jackson would be able to work and could stabilize the family's finances."

Earlier this month, prosecutors recommended that Jackson, the son of the famed civil rights leader, serve 48 months in prison and for his wife to serve 18 months, with Sandi Jackson serving her sentence first.

The Illinois Democrat pleaded guilty last year to using $750,000 worth of campaign funds for personal use. His wife admitted filing false tax returns and failing to report the campaign money as income.

The couple used the money to buy luxury items including a Rolex watch and fur coats.

Lawyers for the Jacksons say that the couple is now broke, CBS News reported.

"By the time Mr. Jackson completes his sentence, the family would not be in the significant financial peril it is in today… the strain of waiting to begin serving his sentence would not be beneficial to Mr. Jackson's state of mind or mental health," the lawyers said, according to CBS.

Last summer, the Mayo clinic in Rochester, Minn., announced that Jackson, 48, was undergoing treatment for bipolar depression.

Jackson Jr. served in Congress from 1995 until his resignation last November.

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