"There are not widows and orphans surrounding the courtroom wanting his head," Weingarten said.
But prosecutor Matt Graves said the crime was serious: "These were extreme abuses," he said.
Sandra Jackson will be permitted to serve her sentence after her husband completes his. The couple, who have two children, 13 and 9, asked to serve at separate times.
"I stand before you today asking for mercy," Sandra Jackson said. "My heart breaks every day with the pain that it's caused my babies."
Her lawyer, Dan Webb, tried to persuade the judge to spare his client jail time, arguing that it would be an "unbearable burden" on the children. But the judge old Mrs. Jackson, "It is not the court that put your children in this position."
Having their mother gone will be difficult for the children, the judge said, but "it is survivable." She said, "Today you have to be held out as an example."
Sandra Jackson also was ordered to serve 200 hours of community service and pay restitution of $22,000 — the amount of money she took from her alderman's campaign account for personal use.
The Jacksons, who pleaded guilty in February, entered the courtroom holding hands.
The judge said Jackson's reporting date for prison would be on or after Nov. 1.
As he got into his SUV to leave, Jackson said, "I still believe in the power of forgiveness. I believe in the power of redemption. Today I manned up and tried to accept responsibility for the errors of my ways— and I still believe in the resurrection."
The former congressman's father sat in the front row during the proceedings, surveying the courtroom and writing notes on a piece of paper while waiting for the hearing to start. During a break just before the sentences were announced, he walked over to the defense table and sat down next to his son, who slouched in his chair. Weingarten soon joined them, and the younger Jackson was able to manage a laugh at something one of the other men said.
After the sentencing, the senior Jackson walked over to the prosecution table and shook hands with the prosecutors.
Weingarten told reporters that his camp was satisfied with the court's rulings "but nobody's celebrating today, obviously." He said Jackson had suffered a "fall from grace. ... It's a huge day of sadness."
Associated Press broadcast reporter Gerry Bodlander in Washington and AP reporter Michael Tarm in Chicago contributed to this report.
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