Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was found guilty by a jury of his peers in a fair and public trial. He practically said “I am guilty” when he took the stand and looked right at the jury and said that he had to think about how he was going to pay for his girls’ college educations once he left public office. That one statement made the jury’s job a whole lot easier.
I was present for a few days during both of his trials, the first ending in a hung jury. As a high school teacher, I had the pleasure of escorting several teenagers to these trials during their summer breaks. During the first trial, I had the opportunity to talk with the governor and his team of lawyers about the checks and balances in our government. He argued that there were no such checks over the federal prosecutor. I argued that indeed such checks were very much in place, exactly as the Founding Fathers intended.
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Now the former governor is reiterating his point about the unfairness of the federal prosecutors because he has heard similar statements from our president. He thinks that this line of reasoning may get his sentence commuted. President Trump wants to “stick it to” the federal prosecutors. Blagojevich wants to come home. He received 14 years for bribery and shakedowns for payments to his campaign fund. This is much more than Gov. George Ryan received for bribery in connection with granting commercial driving licenses. And those faulty licenses got six children in a family killed.
A commutation still labels Blagojevich as a felon for life. Isn’t it possible for the president to do the right thing for the wrong reasons?
Jan Goldberg, Riverside
Supreme Court defies the Golden Rule
The Supreme Court effectively ruled on Monday, in the case of the Colorado baker, that hidden within the First Amendment’s guarantee of the “free exercise of religion” is a religious right to discriminate against LGBT people. There is no way to determine if a business owner practices “sincerely held religious beliefs” that allow discrimination against a minority or whether the owner is simply prejudiced against LGBT people.
So let’s apply the Golden Rule held high by most religions: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” When a business discriminates against LGBT people, then LGBT people and their many friends and supporters ought to discriminate against that business. That’s also the free exercise of religion.
Bob Barth, Edgewater
Gunmakers already liable
Bullet 29 of your “31 bullets” campaign, you once again mislead your readers. Federal law does not protect the gun industry from “nearly all lawsuits.” The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act shield them only from frivolous lawsuits stemming from the misuse of their products. If someone misuses a car, hammer or any other inanimate object, the victims don’t sue the object’s manufacturer; they sue the user of the object. The firearm manufacturers still can be sued for damage caused by a proven manufacturing defect, just like car or tool manufacturers.
John Deal, Dolton
Vote for gun reform candidates
Knowing that gun reform is an essential measure for making schools safer for our children, and knowing that on both state and federal levels members of congress are capable of amending current laws, let’s vote this November for those candidates who favor more stringent gun legislation. It’s the least we can do to help protect our kids.
Mike Modzelewski, Rogers Park
Impeach Trump now
The one line of continuity between our last criminal Republican President — Richard M. Nixon — and the ethically challenged Donald Trump is the absurdist con that “the president can’t obstruct justice.” That is complete lunacy, though taken as gospel by the undereducated and those whose acquiesce to the office of president. It is an argument staggeringly devoid of reason and historical knowledge. Let us not accept this patently false premise and impeach Trump before it is too late.
Edward Juillard, West Beverly