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Providence Ex-Mayor Seeks New Sentence

March 8, 2005

BOSTON (AP) _ Former Providence, R.I., Mayor Vincent ``Buddy″ Cianci asked a federal appeals court Monday to toss out his prison sentence in a racketeering case in light of a recent Supreme Court decision.

Cianci in his appeal argued that a federal court erred in handing him a five-year, four-month sentence on a single count of racketeering conspiracy in 2002. The court used mandatory federal sentencing guidelines. The Supreme Court ruled Jan. 12 that the guidelines should be discretionary, rather than mandatory.

Cianci’s filing met a deadline to request a new sentence in his case. Meeting the same deadline, the U.S. Attorney’s office in a brief filed Friday argued that the high court’s ruling should not affect Cianci’s case.

The government argued that the sentencing judge did not express dissatisfaction with the guidelines, and Cianci cannot show a reasonable probability that his sentence would have been shorter.

Cianci’s lawyer has argued that without the time added to his sentence under the guidelines, he could have been eligible for release as early as this summer. His projected release date is July 2007.

The colorful Cianci was Providence’s longest-serving mayor. During his trial, prosecutors cast him as the leader of an administration plagued by corruption, but Cianci has maintained his innocence.

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