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The Blagojevich Dilemmas

By Syed Ahad Hussain
On September 14, 2010

In the wake of an economic downturn, and the hardships faced by the students to finance their education, the dilemma of he Blagojevich re-trial raises an important question: Is it necessary for him to face the consequences of his misdeeds, or is it fair to the average taxpayer to have to bear the expenses of the re-trial?

Although Blagojevich has been convicted of lying and misleading government officials, the court still has not been able to present a clear verdict on Blagojevich's remaining 23 charges. The remaining charges require a re-trial, leaving it up to the average American to pay for a former government official's corrupt offences and the subsequent trial expenses again. The million dollar question is what will the state, the general assembly and we the people gain from the re-trial other than losing money, which could have been spent on other needs, like education funds.

A report by the Associated Press states that U.S. District Judge James Zagel intends to declare a mistrial on the undecided counts. Prosecutors had until Sept 7 to seek a re-trial of the case, which, U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald told reporters he will seek to retry case. "It is much easier to prove that someone made false statements than it is to prove there was a conspiracy," said Daniel Purdom, head of the law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in Chicago. The report adds that prosecutors said Blagojevich and his aides operated the state as a money machine by wringing campaign donations out of people doing business with the state.

Blagojevich's defense lawyers portrayed him as a talkative bumbler who was given bad advice, but never received any illegal funds. In a surprise decision during the trial, Blagojevich opted not to testify, even after months of loudly declaring that he would take the stand in his own defense. It simply does not make sense to keep having re-trials for the already impeached Blagojevich, especially since he has to go to jail anyway.

Also, it looks bad for the state and Democratic Party to face the music because of Blagojevich's alleged efforts to sell President Obama's vacated senate seat to the highest bidder. Both the State and Democratic Party want to end the embarrassment as quickly and silently as possible.

However, it is also important to bring the fourth corrupt Illinois governor to justice, he should face the consequences of being corrupt, and when it comes to justice, one has to ignore the financial requirements. As Yahoo! News says, "To make this argument (whether or not there should be a retrial or not), would essentially be saying that here in Chicago, breaking the law doesn't really matter when money is at stake," Isn't that the thinking that got three, soon to be four, governors in Illinois jailed in the first place?".

It would have been financially convenient to jail him after the impeachment, but officially and legally it is not a feasible option. Whether or not Blagojevich would be brought to justice or not, we the students will have to keep on struggling harder and harder to make ends meets. The state simply does not have money for us; they have better things to do with our money than to help students prosper, which could produce faithful, loyal and reliable leadership for this state.

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