Not so corrupt then

Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor, has been found guilty of just one of 24 political corruption charges.

Well sorta, except he wasn\’t aqctually found guilty of any political corruption charges:

Blagojevich was found guilty of lying to the FBI and faces up to five years in jail.

That\’s one of those catch all charges that the Americans love to add.

Lying to the court is perjury, that\’s very bad. Lying to the coppers who have come to arrest you, that\’s, well, I\’m not sure that it\’s something we ever prosecute is it? It\’s pretty much assumed that someone at risk of being sent away for 30 years or more is going to shade the truth in what he says to those attempting to put him away for 30 years, isn\’t it?

6 thoughts on “Not so corrupt then”

  1. I can’t do the link thingy, but this is from the front page or screen of today’s New York Times, and i thought a real tribute to the importance and seriousness of a jury trial. I think they did a great job:

    As for the more serious counts against Mr. Blagojevich, the jurors, who had seemed during the trial to be a particularly attentive, studious bunch, had trouble right from the start of their deliberations in reaching much agreement, said one juror, Erik Sarnello.

    The group was split 11 to 1, he said, in favor of convicting Mr. Blagojevich on charges that he tried to trade or sell the Senate seat, but was divided in various ways at various moments on the rest of the counts. On some of the charges, said Mr. Sarnello, who is 21 and a student, the jury was divided evenly. “We were all over the place,” he said.

    Mr. Sarnello said that he favored convicting Mr. Blagojevich on most counts, but that others raised a variety of concerns about whether he could be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Some of the jurors suggested that Mr. Blagojevich and his aides had been “just doing a lot of talking,” he said, but not actually committing crimes, while others felt that the government was too eager to “take him down,” or that his behavior might not be all that different from that of other politicians. Others expressed concern that some witnesses who testified against him had plea agreements or other deals with the government, deals these jurors said made their testimony suspect.

    “Everybody in that room wanted to get the job done, but we came to the realization that it just wasn’t going to happen,” Mr. Sarnello said. “Some people just said they wanted clear-cut evidence — something clearer than they already had.”

  2. That’s the one they got Martha Stewart on too.

    That’s why you should never say ANYTHING to police.

    Even a small accidental slip could see you prosecuted for Perverting the Course of Justice ( the UK equivalent).

  3. So if I went up to an FBI agent and said “The sky is green” then I could be arrested and put in jail for 5 years? That seems somehow wrong, from a place that so prides itself on freedom of speech…

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