Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hung Jury Time Again!

Rod Blagojevich of Chicago fame, David Wittig and guy named Lake of the local Westar Energy Company have something in common. Blagojevich was accused of trying to get some financial mileage out of Obama’s vacated Senate seat, while Wittig and Lake were accused of looting the local electric company out of millions. Each case ended in a hung jury. In the Topeka case, the prosecutors didn’t push for a retrial but in Illinois they are going after Blagojevich again. More than likely Blagojevich will only get a slap on the wrist or if he goes to jail, he will end up in a country club prison in the East.

These cases have drug on for months, if not years, and you can imagine the millions of dollars the attorneys have made? The lawyers come from elite law firms and are usually the best money can buy for these high profile guys. In the Westar case, the company had to pay much of the legal cost, so you can expect a rate increase soon. They develop a legal strategy that puts a wad of bills in their pockets. They drag these cases on by calling for expensive expert witnesses; they throw in some character witnesses who bring tears to your eyes; and the judges grant their request for continuation time after time. All of these legal maneuvers will eat up a whole bunch of tax-payers dollars. By the time they are done, hell they could make Hitler look like an innocent school boy. And can you imagine the time the judge and jurors have to sit there and endure this nonsense and in time all they can do is pray for it all to end. Money talks, my friend because these high priced lawyers get their clients off the proverbial hook.

All of this doesn’t bode well for the justice system. The average criminal has little money to hire an attorney to defend their interest and can usually count on being jailed or put on some kind of probation for extended periods of time. Nobody makes them look like innocent school boys. In South Dakota the penal system is represented by Indians in huge numbers. If they can’t get a job there then crime usually happens. What they should do is create some kind of public works units (chain-gangs) out of prisoners to help with county and state budget shortfalls because they sure won’t get rehabbed in prison.

Most of the people have to live with the mistakes of life or die in jail thinking about it, but for not for these guys:  Blagojevich said he is running for governor again when he gets out this mess and Wittig will be back in the front row for the Kansas University basketball games. No, “justice for all” isn’t really there!

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