Viewpoints Board on Blagojevich retrial
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Posted Aug 19, 2010 @ 06:52 AM
Last update Aug 19, 2010 @ 06:56 AM
ROCKFORD — The Register Star Community Viewpoints Board responds to the question, "Should former Gov. Rod Blagojevich be retried?”
The government prosecutors had a difficult case, considering that in many instances he was being accused of trying to commit a crime, not for doing it. Considering he may still go to jail because he has been found guilty on one count, I think there should be no need for a retrial.
Januarius Asongu is an assistant professor of economics, business and accounting at Rockford College.
Blago needs to be retried on the unresolved issues. We can’t leave open issues of political corruption on the table. We need closure on the corruption allegations. The cost of the retrial is a small investment if it sends a clear signal to politicians they need to watch their p’s and q’s and do the jobs they were elected for getting stuff done for the benefit of the public. This view is opposite of crooks like Blago and Ryan, who view the role of the politicians as filling the pockets of supporters and insiders with public money.
Mike Ward of Belvidere owns Ward & Associates, which does engineering for the die casting industry.
Clearly, a huge majority of the jurors felt Blagojevich was guilty. From polls, clearly the majority of citizens feel he is guilty. Blagojevich will never be free of this opinion, no matter how much he puffs himself up and parades himself around. I understand the maximum sentence for the one count he was found guilty of is five years. Give that to him, no chance of parole. Give him a prison haircut as an extra measure. The harm to the Democratic election should not enter into the decision for a retrial, but the cost to Illinois residents should. He’s harmed us enough don’t let him continue.
Dorien Peterson is a retired Rockford School District paralibrarian.
"Trials are too important to be left up to juries.” This infamous line by Gene Hackman in the movie "Runaway Jury” sums up the feelings of advocates for a professional juror system, where people are trained about rules of evidence and what proof beyond a reasonable doubt really looks like. I am more in favor of educating the general public about these concepts. The Blagojevich fiasco mirrors a systemic cancer of arrogance and corruption in American politics. I am confident U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald will pull out the stops at the retrial and seriously consider bringing in White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid among others to testify. Politicians need to be sent a message that pay-for-play is not business as usual, not in Illinois, not anywhere.
Ron Harper is a regional coordinator of training for criminal justice careers at Rasmussen College. He lives in Roscoe.
The conviction of Blagojevich on only one count may be seen a partial victory for the defense. Will Blago walk away from this quietly, pay his $250,000 fine and go away? Absolutely not! Walking out of the courtroom, he vowed to appeal. As much as our citizenry is embarrassed by our ousted governor, we have to face the possibility that this ordeal is not over yet. Our state prosecutors understand getting all jurors to unanimously agree on the more serious charges, like conspiracy, is truly difficult. But if a majority of the jurors were convinced of Blago’s more serious wrongdoings, then the state has a responsibility to plan for a retrial.
Melissa Seeling, a partner in BeefaRoo restaurants, lives in Rockford.
This story appeared at http://www.rrstar.com/insight/x1108247042/Viewpoints-Board-on-Blagojevich-retrial on August 19, 2010.