Attorneys for Dr. Murdock Head, the George Washington University department chairman and foundation executive convicted of conspiring to bribe two congressmen, yesterday cited remarks by the judge who sentenced Head to four years in prison in their efforts to win his freedom.
A spokesman for U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris said later that the judge may rule on the request early next week.
Head's lawyers appealed to Cacheris during a 30-minute hearing yesterday to consider remarks made by the late federal judge, Oren R. Lewis, who presided at Head's two trials in Alexandria. "Had Judge Lewis lived this day, he would have cut back Dr. Head's sentence on the condition that he performed meaningful" community service, said lawyer Brian P. Gettings.
Lewis had hinted at Head's sentencing that he would cut the prison time if Head performed "worthwhile work" on the roots of violence among American juveniles. Head began serving his sentence at a federal prison at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama in February after an appeals court rejected his request for a new trial.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore S. Greenberg urged the judge not to release Head, saying that Head, who created the Airlie Foundation near Warrenton, Va., "didn't go out and do" the juvenile study that Lewis suggested. Instead, Greenberg said, Head made a 30-minute television special called "The Shooting of the President," as he was awaiting his appeal last year. The TV film is about the attempted assassination of President Reagan.
Head was convicted first in 1979, but an appellate court overturned the conviction. He was again convicted in 1981 and his appeal from that trial was rejected by a three-judge appellate court panel.