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Ex-Southern Baptist president head writes on Nagin's behalf as ex-mayor's sentencing nears

A former president of the nation's Southern Baptists is among more than two dozen people who have written a federal judge seeking leniency for former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

Nagin is to be sentenced July 9 on corruption charges.

The Rev. Fred Luter says Hurricane Katrina profoundly affected Nagin, a Democrat who served from 2001-2010. Luter calls Nagin "a good and decent man who made unwise choices."

Nagin family members and some former members of his staff also wrote on his behalf. The letters include a hand-printed note from a grandson of Nagin.

Nagin was convicted in February on 20 criminal counts including bribery, fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors said the crimes occurred before and after Katrina struck in 2005. The charges carry sentences of up to 20 years.

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