Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (a.k.a. “Blago”) is now going to a federal prison in Colorado, for his conviction of attempting to sell or trade Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat in exchange for cash or some high political appointment.
At the first trial, Blago was convicted of 1 count out of 24 counts against him, that of lying to the FBI. The prosecutors held a second trial, and at that trial he was then convicted of 17 of the charges related to the senate seat and related to extortion of state funds. Prior to the trials, Kevin Gutzman, author of James Madison and the Making of America, believed that federal prosecutor based the charges on a corruption of language related to the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Between the two trials, Allan Stevo thought that Blago should sue the feds for defaming him.
And well known civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate, author of Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, added, in a more honest assessment of what our “justice” system has become (or perhaps always was),
It is only because of the nature of the instructions given to the jury by the trial judge as to the meaning of what is essentially a meaningless statute, the leeway given to prosecutors to make arguments to the jury that seek to criminalize politics-as-usual, and the failure of appellate courts to rein in the abusive uses of vague statutes, that Rod Blagojevich can be convicted for doing what just about any other political figure does from time to time.
Show me the politician who doesn’t swap favors and peddle influence as tirelessly as normal people breathe.
Despite the preening of Blago’s smug prosecutor, self-righteous judge and the State’s cheerleaders in the media, condemning the poor slob to 14 years’ imprisonment is equivalent to exterminating one rat out of the millions spreading plague in medieval Europe: it’s the teeniest, tiniest start on curing what ails us. Judge James Zagel should round up the rest of the elected or appointed leeches and herd them off to the pokey, too, then follow and lock the door behind himself.
As I’ve noted many times now, the whole system of compulsory government and our very communistic State ownership of the entire territory and State monopoly of territorial protection and the administration of justice — which is a flawed system and doomed to crash and burn — what we get are prosecutions based on politics and political cronyism and favoritism and not based on actual justice. Besides questionably criminal offenses by merely corrupt pols, the feds now are also going after totally innocent civilians who are minding their own business and trying to peacefully go about their everyday lives. The feds are the criminals now.