PHOENIX — A former Arizona attorney general said former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio should be sentenced to working with immigrant groups after he was found guilty of criminal contempt of court.
“If it was me, I would have him do an awful lot of community service work,” Grant Woods told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Monday. “He’s able to do it and I think he should specifically work with immigrant organizations.”
Woods said the sentence may help Arpaio — who was convicted of carrying on with his controversial immigration sweeps more than a year after a different judge ordered him to cease — understand the people whose lives he affected.
“I’d like to see him have to put in 1,000 hours with Chicanos Por La Causa or some group like that or one of the immigrant rights groups and let him learn a little bit about the other side of the equation that he was abusing all these years,” he said.
Such a deal could benefit Arpaio as well. Though most experts agreed he likely won’t see jail time, he faces up to six months behind bars. Woods said volunteering for community service could curry favor from the judge.
“Maybe he ought to step back and say, ‘I need to reassess’ and I think part of that reassessment would be saying ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I wish I wouldn’t have done it’ and ‘If I can help out some people on the other side, I’m happy to help them out,'” Wood said.
“If he would do something like that, I think the judge would look very kindly on that.”
Woods recognized that Arpaio will likely avoid prison stripes. Even if the former lawman was sentenced to prison, Woods did not expect him to stay long.
“If he was sent to jail, if it was me, I would only do it for a couple of days, something like that, to make a point,” he said.
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