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Religious leaders rally behind Kwame Kilpatrick in push for presidential pardon

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Posted at 5:24 PM, Jul 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 18:14:36-04

DETROIT (WXYZ)  — The Ebony Foundation, which is affiliated with Ebony Magazine, is once again urging President Donald Trump to grant clemency to former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Nearly two dozen prominent pastors from the Detroit area and across the country joined organizers from the foundation in a public plea for the release of Kilpatrick, who has served seven years of a 28-year sentence for crimes that include extortion and bribery.

"It ties the record for the longest sentence in American history for an elected official," the Ebony Foundation indicated in a statement. "This clear case of excessive sentencing is indicative of the victimization of black men by the criminal justice system. Further, Mr. Kilpatrick has been identified by prison officials as being at high risk for COVID-19 and has been placed in solitary confinement."

Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House, a non-denominational megachurch in Texas spoke about Kilpatrick's remorse and urged Trump to allow for his release.

"We're calling on the President and all those in power to reconsider this sentence made in the heat of passion of an angry city to the detriment of a very young man who deserves and needs an opportunity to recycle his life," Jakes said.

Click on the video to hear from former federal inmates Alice Marie Johnson, who was granted clemency by Donald Trump, and Angela Stanton-King, who received a pardon after her release.