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Hoffa Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison

Mar. 12, 1964 - James R. Hoffa was sentenced to eight years in prison and fined $10,000 today for attempting to rig a Federal jury — a crime the court said was tantamount “to tampering with the soul of the nation.”

The Teamsters Union president said he intends to fight the sentence, up to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. Hoffa has repeatedly charged that the Government is “out to get him” because of his feud with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.

“I stand here today and state I am innocent,” the fiery labor leader told Federal Judge Frank Wilson prior to sentencing.

“You stand there,” the judge said, “convicted of having tampered, really, with the very soul of this nation. You stand here convicted of having struck at the very foundation upon which everything else in this nation depends, the very basis of civilization itself.”

Hoffa, free on $75,000 bond, told the judge in his pre-sentencing statement that “when the evidence is sifted calmly and coolly,” it would prove his innocence.

Hoffa and three associates were convicted last week of trying to fix a jury which heard a conspiracy case against Hoffa in Nashville in 1962. The case ended in a mistrial when the jury was unable to agree on a verdict.

Each of Hoffa’s three co-defendants was sentenced today to three years in prison. Like Hoffa, they plan to appeal. Hoffa was convicted on two counts of jury tampering, the three others on one count each.


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