Blagojevich Conviction Makes Governors More Likely to See Jail Than Murderers
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was found guilty on 17 charges related to his attempt to sell President Obama’s vacated Senate seat. You’re now more likely to go to prison in Illinois for being governor than being a murderer.
Among all of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s plans for President Obama’s vacant Senate seat, it seems now that taking the seat for himself and going on a bin Laden bounty hunter mission in Afghanistan as he confessed to considering might have been his smartest option–relatively speaking.
In comparison to his current predicament, spending afternoons searching for bin Laden across miles of scorching sand, caves and extremist militants—in the wrong country, mind you—could’ve been an innocuous, albeit adventurous mission abroad.
Now, Blago can spend the next several years—and possibly the rest of his life—looking for the likeness of bin Laden in his prison’s cafeteria toast.
After over two years of circus-like litigation, stints on reality television and incriminating expletive-laden wiretaps, the New York Times reports Rod Blagojevich was finally found guilty on 17 of 20 charges against him, including wire fraud, attempted extortion, bribery, extortion conspiracy and bribery conspiracy. Just as a reminder, one of the extortion charges involved an attempted $50,000 shakedown of a children’s hospital in exchange for $8 million in state funding.
On a disgraceful note for the state of Illinois, Blagojevich’s guilty convictions cast an even darker shadow on the corrupt history of Illinois governorships. As pointed out by Jon Stewart on an episode of “The Daily Show,” “only 48% of the people that commit murder [in Illinois] end up in jail for their crimes.” In the past 35 years, 3 of the 8 elected governors of Illinois have been sent to prison for crimes relating to corruption and bribery. Now Blago has become the 4th, and rounded out the percentage to 50%, making the statistical likelihood of going to prison in Illinois higher for being governor than for committing murder.
Stewart’s observation manifested as a bitingly astute analysis of Illinois’ political corruption; though, as the Huffington Post points out in its collection of corrupt governors around the country, the “Land of Lincoln” is hardly the first state to fall victim to its elected officials’ greed and corruption—and certainly won’t be the last.
The real tragedy in this case is the final verdict on Blago’s finely-tailored head of hair. Facing up to 300 years in prison, Blagojevich’s last strands of humanity may be all that’s keeping him sane in his last months on the outside.