Former Circuit Judge Phillip Davis sentence ruled not vindictive by appeals court

MIAMI - An appeals court says there's no evidence of vindictiveness in a 20-year prison sentence imposed on a former Miami judge convicted in a fraud case.

Former Circuit Judge Phillip Davis had claimed the sentence was excessive because prosecutors had offered a plea deal including a potential four-year sentence that the trial judge indicated she might accept if he pleaded guilty.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal disagreed, finding the trial judge was within her rights to impose the longer sentence.

Davis was convicted in 2009 of multiple charges for stealing more than $80,000 from a social services agency he ran.

As a judge in 1991, Davis was acquitted of taking bribes to fix cases as part of a federal corruption probe.

Davis testified his cocaine addiction clouded his judgment.

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