Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is begging for mercy ahead of his sentencing next week, telling a judge he prays he will not die in prison.
The 74-year-old Democrat submitted a letter in Manhattan federal court late Friday, saying he and his wife "are both crumbling" since he was convicted in May during a retrial on corruption charges. Prosecutors, in their own submission Friday, sought a sentence of well over 10 years in prison.
Silver was sentenced to 12 years in prison after a 2015 conviction at trial. That conviction was overturned by a federal appeals court following a Supreme Court decision that redefined what constituted corruption.
Silver was first elected in 1976. He served as speaker for 21 years, resigning after his arrest.