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Convicted Ex-Alderman: Jackson Can Turn Life Around

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Mike Parker Mike Parker
Mike Parker has been a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — One of Chicago’s best known radio talk show hosts understands what obstacles Jesse Jackson Jr. is now facing. He’s been there, literally. CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports.

WVON’s Cliff Kelley has been talking up a storm on the air for years, but there was a time, back in the 80’s, when his future looked bleak. He was a Chicago Alderman who was convicted of bribery and income tax charges. He did almost a year in a federal pen.

And when the judge who sentenced the Jacksons said she was “confident” there would be “another chapter” in Jesse Junior’s life, that he might find the redemption he said he is seeking, Kelley understood that.

Asked if his life is proof that it can happen, Kelley said it “can happen to anybody. It’s not difficult at all when you have people who believe in you. I think that’s what young Jesse can do. The man has done so many good things, I don’t think it will be difficult at all for him to come back.”

But first comes his prison term. Word is, Jackson could be sent to Montgomery Alabama’s minimum security federal prison camp alongside Maxwell Air Force base. In a poll of former prisoners, it was listed as the nation’s cushiest.

Said Kelley, “When I hear people say he’s going to be behind bars, he’s not going to be behind bars. He’s a non- violent inmate who will be at a camp somewhere.”

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