Incoming Senator Mark Begich says he is not in favor of prison time for the man he is replacing. Republican Senator Ted Stevens was found guilty in October on seven counts of lying on his financial disclosure forms to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts provided to him by oil company executives with business in the state.
"I think for an 85-year-old man to serve time in jail, that's not the appropriate thing to do," Begich said. "There are other utilizations for prison space." Stevens remained a candidate for re-election even after being found guilty and ended up losing to Begich in one of the closest senate races of the 2008 cycle. Stevens continues to mount a legal battle against the charges but both Begich and Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said they have not asked President Bush to consider pardoning the long-serving Stevens.