As a former defense attorney, I usually feel bad for someone on sentencing day. Just so you know, it does not mean I am pro crime (I am certainly not) or think people should not get sentenced (I believe people should be appropriately punished and the community protected), but rather that a small part of me feels bad. I hate to see someone – whoever it might be – make a mess of his life. There is something in the DNA of criminal defense attorneys that somehow sees the goodness (and even hope of rehabilitation) in criminals even if we have to look very, very, very deep and see something no one else does or can.
But as I read about Jesse Jackson, Jr. getting 30 months in prison, I don’t feel bad for him. There is not a drop of sadness. I feel angry.
How could he? A former Congressman? How could he do that to himself, his constituents and his family?
And most importantly, and why I have no sadness for him, how could he have squandered the very important role of being a role model to young African Americans? We desperately need role models and this is what he does?
Maybe later today I will feel bad for him…but right now I am very disappointed in him….even angry. We needed his help and he did just the opposite.
Below are notes from my FNC colleague Shayla Bezdrob about the sentencing:
Jesse Jackson jr
- 30 months in a designated federal facility in montgomery alabama or different one closer to dc
- $100 processing fee
- followed by 36 months of supervised probation
-72 hours upon release he is to report to a probation officer
- also 500 hours of community service post release… Must not be anything related to politics or campaigns
-12 months in a women’s federal facility (note/edit: a low second facility a la martha stewart)
- defense requested a facility in maryanna, fl
-$100 processing fee
- $22k restitution for money from her campaign
- upon release she will do 12 months of supervised probation
- ordered to do 200 hours of community svc… Must not be anything to do with politics and campaigns… Or her kids school etc
The Jacksons are ordered to pay back $750K they used from the campaign funds. Although the govt asked for that amount to be doubled, the judge disagreed.
Judge Jackson also said that while the defense claimed that JJJr suffers from bipolar disorder they didn’t present enough evidence that his acts were episodic or impulsive as a result of his condition. And while she didn’t doubt his medical condition, but seem to be lack of evidence especially since the spending went on and on. She went on to say that it is important to remind those in high positions that these acts are not ok. As an elected congressman he’s supposed to live up to a higher standard. But should not be held at a different one in the eyes of the law. The judge said she didn’t know how she would eXplain to the incarcerated youth if he was not judged as they did -by his conduct and the law. There are no 2 systems of justice _ one for rich and powerful and one for less fortunate. There’s only one she said. She told JJJr that he was supposed to be an example because he knew better – and that’s what’s made this tragic.
To Sandra, the judge said she had a personal role in it that had nothing to do with her husband’s condition. The judge outlined shopping sprees, trips etc…$580K of personal charges to the campaign credit card then paid off by the campaign. “You knowingly and actively participated in this conspiracy…. Together you two were the campaign”