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The Sentencing of Kwame Kilpatrick

Even in the end, Kwame Kilpatrick, Detroit's former mayor, expected us to believe the hype. He stood before a judge here Tuesday to be sentenced for violating key terms of his probation in a sex-texting scandal, and offered this:

  • “I spent a whole year feeling an enormous amount of guilt for what I did to my wife, my children, and city.”
  • “…You don't ever have to worry about me committing a crime. You don't ever have to worry about me being a danger to the community.”

The judge, David Groner, didn't believe the latest act of a man who just a few months ago said, in court, that he did not know if his wife – with whom he lives – leaves the house for work each morning. Or who pays the rent for their suburban Dallas home. Groner swiftly ordered Kilpatrick to serve between 18 months and five years in a state prison. It's unclear if Detroit will ever receive the hundreds of thousands of dollars Kilpatrick still owes. And it's impossible to make up for the headache and embarrassment his lies continue to induce.

Americans love a story of redemption. But in Kilpatrick's case, absolution is a difficult sell.

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