The Vindicator asked hundreds of its News Contacts to give their thoughts on the length of the sentence and whether James Traficant should have been sent to prison immediately:
I think Judge Wells went out of her way to accommodate Traficant during his trial and sentencing. He continued to rant and rave and showed no remorse, so she hit him pretty hard in the sentence and immediate incarceration, plus a stiff fine. She is an excellent judge and was tired of his antics. Finally, the Valley is free of this clown!
I agree with the sentence because Traficant thought he was above the law. I wish the other corrupt people had tougher sentences than what they received.
The sentence is too harsh for Traficant. He has done so much for our community. What he did was not right, but I think his work to help the Youngstown area should be taken into consideration. In eight years, I'll be ready to vote Traficant because you can't keep a junkyard dog down.
Stephanie Day, Petersburg
I was shocked with how long a sentence Traficant was given today! Didn't think he would get so many years and be taken immediately to prison. The judge must have feared James might take flight.
Keith Hipple, Youngstown
They treated him too good! Eight years for him is not enough! For the sake of this community, I hope he doesn't win the next election!
Robert B. Sturgeon
The years received for the sentence were within the guidelines. Yes, he should have gone to prison at once, just like most do.
Anna Marie Brown
Jim Traficant is not a threat to society. Why lead him off in handcuffs immediately? Most criminals get 10 days before they take them away. Our government wanted Jim and they got him. Why don't they go after the real criminals? Jim is the kind of person who tells it the way he sees it! That is why most people like him. In my opinion, Jim Traficant was railroaded!!
Based on Traficant's in-your-face arrogance, vulgar, rude and crude appearances on radio and television over time, his quick departure up the river was justified. Will Traficant be the last Mahoning Valley Don?
The immediate imprisonment of Mr. Traficant was, like this entire episode, a travesty of justice and abuse of the government's police powers for purely political motives. I urge the good people of my hometown to re-elect him as a statement of protest against the abuse of power by political appointees.
Manassas, Va., formerly of Polandformerly of Poland
Former congressman Traficant's sentence was fairly good for what he was charged with, although I don't think that Judge Wells should have ordered Traficant to report to prison immediately. I think she should have at least given him until the end of August. He deserves to be sentenced for at least eight years for what he did to the people of the Mahoning Valley. Until the next election, we don't have a voice.
I think his sentence was a bit much, with no physical proof. Going to jail immediately was best, get it over with as quickly as possible. I do think this was a witch hunt, though. He's crass and loud, but he says things the way most of us would, doesn't spin things in order to make us look stupid, and I do admire that.
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