Rep. Sewell urges release of ailing former Birmingham mayor
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A congresswoman on Wednesday urged President Donald Trump’s administration to reduce the prison sentence of ailing former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford who is suffering from end-stage pulmonary disease,
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell said she was, “calling on the Trump Administration to act with compassion and immediately reduce Mayor Langford’s sentence due to his deteriorating health.”
“Justice should be fair but also merciful. Mayor Larry Langford has served over eight years in federal prison and should spend his final days surrounded by family in Birmingham, Ala.,” Sewell said in a statement.
The former mayor has completed more than half of a 15-year sentence in federal prison for bribery, fraud and conspiracy. He is scheduled for release in 2023.
Langford’s attorney, Tiffany Johnson Cole, said in a news release Monday that Langford has been hospitalized and is in critical condition. She said the 72-year-old is suffering from end-stage pulmonary disease, emphysema and heart failure.
“The Langford family wishes to thank the many friends and supporters for their continued prayers and support during this extremely difficult time,” the statement read.
The statement said the Federal Bureau of Prisons denied Langford a compassionate release in November saying that despite his deteriorating health, he “posed a danger to the safety of the community.”
Langford was convicted in 2009 of taking about $235,000 in bribes while on the Jefferson County Commission in exchange for steering county sewer bond business to an investment banker. Prosecutors said during the trial that Langford accepted luxury suits, watches suits and cash.