Monday, October 4, 2010

Supporting Application of a Donor

Edward J. Socha spent three years in prison for the role that he played in the arson of his home (a 100 year old mansion) in 1984. He later admitted to illegally cashing in on a $1 million insurance policy. Now, almost 30 years later, Socha's wife and other family members have donated money to the campaign of John Stephen, a former prosecutor and Republican nominee for governor. Critics note, however, that Stephen is also supporting a clemency application on behalf of Socha. Says Stephen:
“In 2004, I knew the family, and he had served his time ... I don’t see any problem with accepting a contribution from Ed Socha ... [he] has served his sentence, and since then, he has been an upstanding member the community.”
The sentencing judge in the case also supports Socha’s pardon request saying:
“I will say that of the many offenders who have appeared before me over the years, Mr. Socha is probably one of the most deserving of a pardon ... He was forthright about his conduct and was very ashamed of himself and honestly so.”
On the other hand Democratic candidate John Lynch says supporting a clemency applications is contradictory to the notion of being tough-on-crime (whatever that is!). Lynch also claims that Stephen's support of the application "raises the question whether John Stephen would give pardons to his political donors and friends.” See complete story here

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