Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It’s a power-play all the way around

How noble. How gallant. How knight-in-shining-armorish of him!

Jesse Jackson, Jr., said this week he wants to be sent to prison BEFORE his wife. He’s willing to take the big hit to try to spare her as much as possible.

YES, I’M BEING a bit sarcastic about the motivations here because there are elements of trying to appeal to public emotion. Although I’m inclined to give him a break, because the federal prosecutors who are overseeing the former Congressman’s criminal case have been engaging in their own staged antics.

Those meant to make Jackson out to be the ultimate criminal for whom any sentence he receives will be far too kind!

It is the reason why I personally can’t wait until the early July sentencing date – I’m tired of the back-and-forth of this particular case that is being blown so far out of proportion by the people who can’t stand Jackson for political reasons. As far as they’re concerned, his politics is the reason they want him incarcerated.

The former congressman had his attorneys make a statement this week that he wants to go to prison first. In theory, his wife, Sandi, the former 7th Ward alderman, could use that time to stabilize the family’s business interests.

WHICH MIGHT MAKE it possible for the Jackson family (Jr., Sandi and their two children) to recover and rebuild something resembling a life. Only the most hard-core political partisan would have an objection to that.

Them, and the prosecutors, who hate the idea because it goes counter to their own announced intentions. When prosecutors last month said they were asking for a four-year prison sentence for the former Congressman and one year in prison for the former alderman, they said they want Sandi to do her time first.

Personally, I think they like the idea of Jesse, Jr., having to sit around his house for a year, stewing about the notion that he’s going to have to go off to prison. I wonder if instilling that kind of mental agony amounts to the “cruel and unusual punishment” that is supposed to be unconstitutional in this country.

If you also consider that Jesse, Jr., theoretically could get up to a five-year prison term, this tactic would make for five full years of punishment for the former Congressman while also putting up the illusion that prosecutors are showing some mercy by officially asking for one less year of incarceration.

PROSECUTORS ENGAGE IN politicking as well as, if not better than, most elected officials – even if they try to deny that fact.

I have no objection to the idea of taking into account the damage it’s going to inflict on the Jackson children (grand-children to the civil rights leader) by having both of their parents incarcerated.

Although I don’t think anybody should expect that Jackson’s full request for sentencing (that he do his time first AND that Sandi get probation, rather than a prison term) will be granted.

There is too much at stake for those prosecutors whose careers will be made by the fact that they put a “Jesse Jackson” in prison. It might not be the “Jesse Jackson” that some people fantasize about being incarcerated, but I’m sure those ideological nitwits will get enjoyment out of this too.

YES, I’M BOTHERED by this whole case – which centers around Jackson’s use of campaign funds to buy all kinds of junk with which to decorate an office in an interesting manner. Some might say tacky.

I comprehend the concept of misuse of campaign funds and how that is bad and how, under certain circumstances, it becomes a matter of criminal prosecution. I also accept that the people who have the authority to make the decision have decided that Jackson’s case crosses the line.

But that doesn’t make the politicking – both legislative and judicial – in this particular case any less annoying.


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