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Senator who blamed video games for violence jailed for weapon smuggling and corruption

A U.S. Senator who campaigned against video games and blamed them for causing violence has been sentenced to five years in prison charged with weapon smuggling and corruption.

The Senator, Leland Yee, admitted to political corruption charges including accepting bribes for favours. Yee also admitted to being involved in a plot to smuggle guns from the Philippines into the U.S., however this plot was never completed. As a result of his crimes, the Prosecution were seeking an eight year jail term for Leland Yee, but the Judge handed Yee a five year jail sentence in a federal prison instead.

Other charges were brought against Yee for racketeering, selling guns without a license and agreeing to join a murder-for-hire plot suggested by an undercover FBI agent, however these charges were dropped following Yee’s guilty plea to corruption.

Leland Yee had been a California Senator for 25 years having served in office as a Democratic representative of California. It was back in 2011 that Yee came to the spotlight for his campaign against video games in which he proposed a new law that was rejected by the US Supreme Court. Following the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, Yee once again tried putting the blame on the video games industry stating, “Gamers have got to just quiet down,” Yee said at the time. “Gamers have no credibility in this argument. This is all about their lust for violence and the industry’s lust for money. This is a billion-dollar industry. This is about their self-interest.”

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer told Yee, “The crimes that you committed have resulted in essentially an attack on democratic institutions, Breyer said to Yee, according to a courtroom report today from San Jose Mercury News.This is a serious, serious injury to a governmental institution.”

Yee asked for leniency in sentencing saying that he was ashamed of his actions and that they would haunt him for the rest of his life. “I have taken full responsibility for my actions and crimes I have committed,” said Leland Yee. “That will haunt me the rest of my life.”

In addition to campaigning against video games, Yee also campaigned for stricter gun controls in the US. Ironic right?

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