Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
It’s been a contentious relationship from the beginning. And even as the case against former Washington Teachers’ Union official Gwendolyn Hemphill comes to an end, the bad blood between prosecutors and defense lawyers remains. Hemphill, who was convicted last summer on 23 counts of conspiracy, fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering for her role in pilfering nearly $5 million from the union, is set to be sentenced on May 22 by Judge Richard Leon. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Cooper, Anthony Alexis, and Jeannie Rhee argue that Hemphill should spend a minimum of 20 years in prison — and because of what prosecutors call her “last-ditch” attempts to feign mental illness, they would welcome an even harsher sentence. “I have never seen prosecutors who are so willing to say or do anything . . . to destroy a 65-year-old grandmother who never hurt anyone,” says lead defense lawyer Nancy Luque of DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary. The government’s reply? “We decline to respond to the comment, other than to state that the record in this matter, which includes the jury’s verdict, speaks for itself,” says Channing Phillips, principal assistant U.S. attorney in D.C. Defense attorneys call the government’s request “a virtual death sentence” for Hemphill, who they maintain suffers from serious mental disorders. They’re asking Hemphill be sentenced to a long period of home incarceration, which she would pay for and during which she could work to repay the union. The government claims tens of thousands of dollars were spent to assess Hemphill’s alleged multiple personalities and hallucinations, which a government expert found either “grossly exaggerated” or “made up.”
Sarah Kelley can be contacted at [email protected].

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.