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Penn Democrats Speaker Event Credit: Ying Pan , Ying Pan

Former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) should be given a pardon, a letter from Fattah's lawyer argued Thursday.

The former West Philadelphia politician — whose district included Penn's campus — was convicted of a series of racketeering and corruption charges last year. In December, he was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.

"We have known him for 30 years and know first-hand his unmatched contributions to improving the lives of tens of millions of Americans," the letter said. It was signed by both attorney Lanny Davis and local pastor Therman Evans. 

The letter cites three main arguments for the pardon: procedural unfairness on the part of presiding US District Court Judge Harvey Bartel, misconduct by the prosecutors and holes in the case's evidence.

The existence of the letter was publicized by a website operated by a group of the former congressman's staffers who aim to overturn what they perceive to be an unfair verdict.

Fattah was convicted on June 21 of all charges against him. He resigned his seat in Congress two days later, having already lost his primary race.