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Lally’s 18-month sentence isn’t justice

Joe Lally arrives at a sentencing hearing in Boston last week. Joe Lally arrives at a sentencing hearing in Boston last week. (Associated Press)
By Joan Vennochi
Globe Columnist / October 27, 2011

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This is justice? Former House Speaker Sal DiMasi gets 8 years in jail for steering state contracts to a computer software company in exchange for kickbacks. Lobbyist Richard McDonough gets 7 years for joining in the kickback scheme. Software salesman Joe Lally pleads guilty to the scheme that he hustled to them. He gets 18 months. Lally was accurately savaged on the witness stand as a liar, tax evader, gambler and thief. In giving him the light sentence, US District Chief Judge Mark Wolf said he believed Lally told the truth in this trial. But the judge also said he wanted to send a message “that such cooperation should be rewarded. I hope it gets the public to conclude the system worked.’’ What, exactly, worked here?

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