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Former Tennessee Governor Asks For Reduction of Prison Sentence

March 14, 1985

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Former Gov. Ray Blanton, who has been in prison since last July for extortion and fraud in office, asked Wednesday that his three-year sentence be reduced to time served.

In a motion filed in U.S. District Court, Blanton, 54, said he has paid ″abundantly for any and every conceivable mistake″ made in office.

Blanton, who left office in 1979, was convicted in July 1981 of conspiracy, mail fraud and extortion in connection with liquor licenses granted to political allies. He was fined $11,000 in addition to his prison sentence.

He began serving his sentence last July in a federal prison camp at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. He was transferred last month to a federal prison in Lexington, Ky.

Convicted with him were his 1974 campaign manager, Jim Allen, and special assistant Clyde Edd Hood Jr.

Allen and Hood were convicted of mail fraud and conspiracy, given prison sentences and fined $14,000 each.

Hood, who was sentenced to 18 months, was released last November. Allen, who is serving two years, recently filed a motion for a reduction in sentence, but the request was denied.

Blanton’s motion said the former governor had been ″subjected to inordinate embarrassment and humiliation″ and that his imprisonment has had ″a tremendous adverse impact on his wife, children and mother.″

He is not scheduled to appear before the federal parole board until May.