Julius Henson, the former political consultant sentenced to 60 days in jail last month for writing a 2010 Election Day robocall that prosecutors said was designed to suppress black votes, has requested his immediate release so that he can visit his elderly mother before she dies.
Henson's attorney, Edward Smith Jr., was advised Monday night that Mary Henson had been admitted to the critical care unit of Good Samaritan Hospital in New York, where she was forced to move to live with her daughter after her son, whom she'd previously lived with, was incarcerated, according to court documents.
On Tuesday, Smith filed a motion requesting Henson's immediate release, which he wrote the court should grant in part because it did not give Henson time to "put his affairs in order" before going to jail.
A jury found Henson, 63, guilty in May of conspiracy to violate election law by withholding an authority line from a robocall used as part of the campaign to elect Republican former Gov.Robert L. Ehrlichover Gov.Martin O'Malley, a Democrat.
Henson was acquitted of three other counts, including election fraud.
In the motion for Henson's release filed Tuesday, Smith wrote that others convicted of similar crimes are given time to manage their affairs before their "turn-in date," and that the court "treated Henson differently."
Smith also wrote the upheaval of Mary Henson's life due to her son's incarceration had a "causal connection" to her current medical situation.
She had lived her entire life on Baltimore's east side, and in recent years, her son had taken care of her, even though she'd kicked him out of her house when he was 13, the motion said.
Smith wrote Tuesday that Mary Henson was on life support and had a "do not resuscitate" order.
Neither the court, nor Baltimore Circuit Judge Emanuel Brown, could be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
But in a later, amended motion Smith also filed Tuesday, the attorney wrote the court had required "proof with medical records" of Mary Henson's condition in order to make a decision on the motion, "while knowing this is not practical."
"This is indeed high-handed and harsh," Smith wrote of the court's request.
This is not the first time Smith has called for Henson's release.
Last month, Smith led a rally and filed a motion with Brown asking for Henson's release, calling his sentence "emblematic" of the need for more equal treatment for African-American men and women in the city's criminal justice system.
Smith said Brown's sentence of Henson, who is black, to 300 hours of community service and 60 days in jail for a single misdemeanor conviction is unjust compared with the sentence handed down to Ehrlich campaign manager Paul Shurick.
Shurick, who is white and was convicted on four counts relating to the robocall, including election fraud, was not sentenced to jail time but was ordered by Baltimore Circuit Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill to serve 30 days of home detention and 500 hours of community service.