California Senator Facing Up to 8 Years In Prison, Serves Little More Than An Hour


Then-California state Sen. Rod Wright appears at a Los Angeles Courthouse during a Sept. 3 hearing. Wright has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for lying about residence. (Nick Ut/AP)

A California state senator who resigned his seat after being convicted of eight counts of perjury and voter fraud and sentenced to 90 days in prison has been freed before he even entered the jail system.

Then-California state Sen. Rod Wright appears at a Los Angeles Courthouse during a Sept. 3 hearing. Wright has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for lying about residence. (Nick Ut/AP)
Then-California state Sen. Rod Wright appears at a Los Angeles Courthouse during a Sept. 3 hearing. Wright has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for lying about residence. (Nick Ut/AP)

Roderick Wright was convicted in January, four years after a Los Angeles County grand jury charged him with lying about his address on his voter registration and campaign documents, and with voting fraudulently in five different elections.

Wright registered to vote at an address in Inglewood owned by his common-law stepmother, while prosecutors said he actually lived in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. Registering to vote in Inglewood allowed Wright to run for and win office in his Inglewood-based district; California law requires state lawmakers to live within their districts.

After his conviction, Wright faced up to eight years in prison, but in September, a judge sentenced him to just 90 days and barred him from ever holding public office again. On Friday, Wright reported to the Los Angeles County jail to begin serving his term.



But California’s prison system is overflowing with so many inmates that they have no room for a nonviolent offender with no prior convictions. Wright was processed, booked and released after just over an hour.

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