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Kwame Kilpatrick Is Heading To Prison

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is headed back to a cell, this time maybe for as long as five years.

Even before the sentence was announced, some of the local pundits were calling for leniency in the judge's decision. I don't quite think this is what they had in mind.

One-and-a-half-to-five aren't exactly what the drug dealers call "basketball numbers," but any bid behind prison bars is no joke. Still, as sad as this latest chapter is in the saga of Kilpatrick's long, public, humiliating fall, I can't see how the judge could do anything but come down hard on him for all the games he's played since he did 120 days in county jail, was put on probation and promised to pay $1 million in restitution to the city. He's lied. He's tried to hide money. He's dragged his feet. He's acted as if paying what he owes to this city, the one that had once turned him into a star on the national political stage, was some kind of inconvenience and intrusion.

No, he won't be able to pay much back on prison wages, but be for real: For all his talk about how much he loved this city, Kilpatrick seemed to do all he could to avoid having to sincerely and fully make up for the damage he inflicted. So really, what other choice did he give the judge? He's spent the last several months writing the textbook on how to get your probation revoked.

"Probation is no longer an option," Groner says. "That ship has sailed."

His going to jail isn't a vendetta. It's called punishment -- and as long-delayed as it's been for the dude, he damn sure deserves it.

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