Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Watch List: Jackson Jr. Sentenced, Pardon to Follow?

Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Jesse Jackson, Jr., who, along with his wife, pilfered more than a quarter of a million dollars of campaign donations has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison - with the possibility of a four month reduction.

As he got into a car to drive away from reporters, Jackson, who used checks and credit cards more than 3,000 times for "personal items (such as multiple flat screen televisions, sports club memberships, nightclubs and lounges, a gold-plated Rolex watch, fur capes and parkas), said:
"I still believe in forgiveness and redemption ... and I still believe in the resurrection." 
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. noted that his son has been very, very sick. And that he was also almost "lost." Such comments are surely in tune with Attorney General Holder's recent call for "compassionate release" of non-violent prisoners. So, one now has to wonder if he will benefit from controversial and, sometimes last-minute clemency, like Illinois congressman Dan Rostenkoswki (who bankrolled ghost employees and used taxpayer funds to buy gifts for friends), Illinois congressman Mel Reynolds (whose pardon was recommended by Jesse Jackson), former Jesse Jackson attorney John Bustamante (whose pardon was also advocated by Jesse Jackson) and former member of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH oversight committee Dorothy Rivers who:
... pled guilty in April 1997 to a 40-count theft and tax evasion indictment. Rivers pocketed $1.3 million in federal HUD grants and moneys from the Illinois and Chicago governments. Officials entrusted Rivers with these funds to shelter homeless families and assist pregnant teenage girls. Instead, Rivers used these taxpayer dollars to bankroll her opulent lifestyle. Rivers' chauffeur drove her to Neiman Marcus where she dropped $800 on a purse and $35,000 on a sable coat. She underwrote her son's Mercedes-Benz. As Bob Port of the New York Daily News reported, Rivers spent $250,000 to launch Chi-Sounds, a record company with Carl Davis, the producer of the doo-wop hit, "Duke of Earl." Fittingly, one local boutique owner nicknamed the extravagant Rivers "Duchess." Rivers also assigned a costumed Santa Claus to cruise Chicago in a limousine and hand-deliver invitations to her Christmas bash. Guests received glasses of champagne along with their party announcements. The soiree itself featured sparkling wine cascading from a six-foot-high glass. Dorothy Rivers ripped off homeless families to finance chauffeurs and champagne (National Review).
The Rev. Jackson also supported clemency for Ms. Rivers. So, there is little doubt that the president will feel the same pressures that prompted him to awkwardly comment on the Henry Louis Gates and Travon Martin cases. And, of course, the longer the president remains freakishly stingy with pardons, the more exaggerated any controversial "last-minute" pardons will appear.

Watch List: Here are some individuals who have 1) expressed interest in clemency 2) been mentioned in media outlets as deserving clemency or 3) are being supported for clemency through assorted "campaigns":

- Clarence Aaron (drug conviction)
Stephen Lee Arrington (cocaine trafficking)
- ACORN (voter fraud)
- Weldon Angelos (marijuana) 
- Jim Black (corruption) 
Barry Bonds (obstruction of justice) 
- Randall "Duke" Cunningham (bribery, tax law violations)
- Edwin Edwards (racketerring), released
- Katie Hall (mail fraud)
- Dan Hanks (quite the rap sheet!)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- William Jefferson (bribery, corruption)
- Jesse Jackson, Jr. (plea)
- Jack Johnson (violation of Mann Act) not looking good
- Marion Jones (steroids) 
- John Walker Lindh (terrorism)
Chris McNair (bribery)
- Michael Milken (junk bond king)
- Serena Nunn (sentence commuted by Clinton)
- Leonard Peltier (double murder)
- O. Henry (embezzlement)  
- Jonathan Pollard (spying)  
- Tony Rezko (corruption) a "spokesman" has said it will not happen
- George Ryan (corruption), released 
- Michael G. Santos (cocaine distribution)   
- Richard Scrushy (bribery)
- Don Siegelman (trading favors for contributions)
- Wesley Snipes (income tax evasion)
- Edward Snowden
- Martha Stewart (conspiracy)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)

- Chris Williams (drugs)

See anyone missing? Let us know. Make your case! We might very well add them! Incidentally, we are not keeping score here. But, in the past, the following people appearing on our "Watch List" have received pardons or commutations: Ignacio Ramos, Jose CompeanCharlie Winters, John Forte, Lawrence Hutchins.


Anonymous said...

Given the unprecedented and outrageously high sentence, as well as his unprecedented letters of support, Sholom Rubashkin definitely should be added.

P.S. Ruckman, Jr. said...

EDITOR - Wow! That IS an interesting case. I was unaware of it. Thanks! And thanks for reading! Best,

P.S. Ruckman, Jr. said...

EDITOR-I can't seem to locate any sign of support / organization for clemency on Rubashkin's behalf. Any help you can give?

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