Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jesse, Jr. – Is he, or isn’t he, getting out early from his federal prison term?

The ideologues of our society have a new issue to get them all worked up – is there a chance that Jesse Jackson, Jr., will manage to shave some time off of his prison term.

JACKSON: Promising past, and future?
Technically, Jackson was sentenced in 2013 to a 2-1/2-year prison term. But with early release provisions, his term is scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2015.

THERE ARE THOSE people who, for political and personal reasons, want to complain that the one-time member of Congress from the Far South Side and surrounding suburbs didn’t get anywhere near a long-enough sentence for his guilty plea on criminal charges.

Although when one considers that the offense was using campaign funds to buy tacky junk to decorate his office and that he cooperated with federal prosecutors who brought the case against him, I can see why a short prison stint is all that was received.

But Jackson popped back into the news in recent days – first by being transferred on Friday from a Bureau of Prisons facility in North Carolina to a prison camp that is part of the Maxwell Air Force Base near Montgomery, Ala.

Then, during the weekend, with news reports about how Jackson was trying to get into a program for dealing with drug abuse problems – which if he completes it could theoretically knock more time off his prison term.

THERE WAS SPECULATION that Jackson could have so much time knocked off his prison term that he could essentially be free – or living in a Chicago-area halfway house – sometime around this year’s end.

Although I couldn’t help but notice the Chicago Tribune used its website Monday to publish an updated story that emphasized the fact that Jackson’s projected release date remains the end of 2015.

So what should we think? Are we going to get Jesse Jackson, Jr., back sometime soon? I’m inclined to think that Jackson has so much public attention focused on his case that legal breaks and benefits other inmates can obtain will not be available to him.

He’s going to wind up doing as much prison time as possible for his offense – which is so much less significant than the actions that people want to believe he committed.

AND WHICH WERE the reasons why federal prosecutors got involved in investigating former member of Congress to begin with.

Of course, even if not for this issue, the ideologues would still find something to be offended about with regards to Jackson. For his latest prison transfer is something for them to get worked up over.

Because back when Jackson entered his “guilty” plea, he also made a request for a specific prison camp to be assigned to. Federal officials were under no obligation to grant his request, and they didn’t – initially – when he was sent to North Carolina.

But with the transfer to the prison camp in Alabama, he now gets his way. He’s where he wanted to wind up.

TO THE PEOPLE who despise the Jacksons for whatever reason, they would consider that reason enough to oppose him. As though they won’t be content unless they hear stories of Jackson being held in segregation under miserable conditions for every day of his prison term.

Many of these people are also the ones who want to believe that Jackson’s claims of a medical condition (he was diagnosed as suffering from a bipolar disorder) are somehow fraudulent.

Although the fact that the work camp he’s now at is one designated as a federal medical center might mean that federal authorities take his medical claims seriously.

In today’s day and age, where there are those who aren’t satisfied until their political opposition is incarcerated, the best resolution for all of us is for Jackson (and spouse Sandi who also owes the federal government one year of time) to complete their sentences so that we all can move on.


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