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Government may appeal Conour’s 10-year sentence

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Federal prosecutors who argued for tougher punishment may appeal the 10-year sentence imposed in October for former attorney William Conour who pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud.

The notice of appeal was docketed last week in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the government will have until Jan. 6 to file pleadings or request more time to argue that Conour’s sentence was too lenient. The case on appeal is USA v. William Conour, 13-3643.

Whether prosecutors will proceed with a rare sentencing appeal is uncertain, but the notice was filed ahead of a deadline that preserves the government’s right to appeal.

Federal public defender Michael Donahoe represented Conour before Chief Judge Richard Young and said he was surprised to see the appeal notice filed. He said federal prosecutors told him no final decision had been made on whether the appeal would proceed, and he characterized the filing as a “placeholder” in case U.S. attorneys chose to appeal the sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Bohm argued before sentencing that Conour, 66, should receive the maximum 20 years for stealing settlement proceeds from more than 30 former clients he represented in wrongful-death and personal-injury cases. Conour’s sentence also calls for him to make restitution of more than $6.5 million.

Victims said they were disappointed by the 10-year sentence, but Young said the sentence sent a deterrent message while also providing some hope that Conour might be able to make restitution. Young’s sentence was adjusted downward from the advisory sentencing range of 14 to 17.5 years calculated in a presentencing report prepared by the court's federal probation department.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Conour’s projected release date is in March 2022.
 

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  • Sentencing
    Think the only reason he shows any sign of remorse is he got caught. I don't believe once he's freed that he 'll make any attempt to pay his victims' back. He'll probably just try and disappear.

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  1. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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