Walter’s Perspective: Blagojevich And The Politics Of Prosecution
WALTER JACOBSON, Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The big day has arrived.
Our favorite actors are back onstage – U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich are back in court for the big retrial of alleged corruption.
Quite a show it will be, except what will not be in it – the tape recordings of Blagojevich’s wheeling and dealing that he says will prove his innocence.
The jury will hear only the tapes the U.S. Attorney wants it to hear, not the tapes Blagojevich says may convince the jury that wheeling and dealing was all he was doing – which is what most politicians and U.S. attorneys do – wheel and deal their business.
If, as Blagojevich says, the U.S. Attorney has tapes that could save him from conviction and many years in prison, why not let the jury hear them? Why not give Blago a chance at a fair trial?
It’s a fair question, to which the fair answer is that the trial involves the politics of prosecution and the courts of Chicago.