Senator against violence in games sentenced to 5 years for corruption and weapon smuggling
Former California State Senator Leland Yee has been sentenced to five years in prison on charges of political corruption and weapon smuggling.
Yee previously pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for political favors and attempting to smuggle firearms in from the Philippines. The shamed senator was to be sentenced in October 2015, but the trial was prolonged.
Yee’s campaign fundraiser, Keith Jackson, was also sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in the crimes. The two admitted to receiving over $40,000 in bribery payments, CBS reports, and planning to smuggle weapons worth up to $2.5 million, including shoulder-fired missiles, into the U.S.
“I don’t feel I can be lenient,” U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer told Yee. “The crimes you have committed were essentially an attack on a democratic institution.”
Yee is a known opponent of violent video games. In 2005, he proposed a bill which would ban selling M-rated games to minors in California. The bill failed following a 2011 court ruling which claimed video games are protected speech under the First Amendment.
In 2013, following the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, the former senator was among those leading the charge to blame video games for such homicidal sprees.
“Gamers have got to just quiet down,” Yee told SFGate. “Gamers have no credibility in this argument. This is all about their lust for violence and the industry’s lust for money.”
Today, Yee heard a remarkably similar comment from Judge Breyer: “The answer is money. You did it for money for the perpetuation of power. That to me is the most venal thing.”
Thanks for playing.