Brown also asked that U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan consider her years of public service, the Florida Times-Union reported.
“I am 71 years old. I just had a birthday,” she said. “I humbly ask for your mercy and compassion.”
Jackson Lee also said Brown was loved by the military veterans community and had assisted after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
“That shows a character of giving to others unselfishly,” Jackson Lee said of Brown.
Brown’s attorney James Smith said she helped remove racial barriers and recalled a conversation with a woman who compared Brown to Martin Luther King Jr.
“She truly is a legend,” he said.
But because Brown refused to admit guilt, prosecutors said that she should face between five and nine years in prison.
“She ran for office to be a leader of American democracy while she stole money in a multitude of ways,” Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Tysen Duva said.
Duva also cited Brown saying the government targeted her as a black woman and her suggestion that the Justice Department could have used the energy it spent prosecuting her to stop the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub last year in Orlando.
“I wonder if any of her character witnesses will address this. Why will you support someone who says this nonsense,” Duva said.
Smith responded by saying Brown regretted her comments about the shooting and while there is no evidence Brown was targeted for her race, women her age remember a time when black women were targeted.
Corrigan is set to sentence Brown on Dec. 4. During the hearing, Corrigan said he would try to give Brown a fair sentence.
“Ironically, when judges impose sentence, our job is not to be judgmental. Our job is to be an instrument of the law and reflect the mores and values … that we agree to,” he said. “And that is a very complicated stew.”