Civil rights leaders ask for leniency for former lawmaker

Lawsuit judge's gavel
Posted at 6:01 PM, Nov 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-04 18:01:00-05

ATLANTA (AP) - Several civil rights heavyweights have asked a federal judge to show leniency to an ex-Georgia state representative and civil rights activist who's set for sentencing this week on fraud charges.

Tyrone Brooks, an Atlanta Democrat, pleaded guilty in April to one count of filing a false tax document and no contest to five counts of mail and wire fraud. His sentencing hearing began Monday and U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg is expected to sentence him Friday.

Civil rights veterans C.T. Vivian and Andrew Young appeared in court Wednesday and the Rev. Joseph Lowery appeared in a video message. All three asked Totenberg not to send Brooks to prison.

Prosecutors have asked the judge for a two-year prison sentence. Brooks' lawyers are seeking five years' probation, citing his civil rights work.