Saturday, July 14, 2007

Compassion For Criminal Politicians

In light of Scooter Libby having his sentenced commuted by President Bush, a group of Louisiana politicians are attempting to have the same done for crooked former Governor Edwin Edwards. Louisiana politics is tricky. Back in the 1990's, the two finalists for Governor were Edwards and David Duke. The infamous bumper sticker at the time read "Vote For The Crook: It's Important". Edwards did end up winning and committing more crimes while in office. He is in prison until 2011. At the age of 80, it looks highly doubtful he will hold on for that long.

Republican former Senator J. Bennett Johnston, and former Governor Dave Treen are working with former democratic Senator John Breaux to try to get Edwards, a democrat, out of the pokey.

It may even work. If only the rest of the people in prison had such people advocating for them. Judge Walton sardonically noted how all these powerful people were interested in "justice" for Scooter Libby, but for other people not so much. Edwards has some powerful backers as well.

It is an impressive show of public service when twelve prominent and distinguished current and former law professors of well-respected schools are able to amass their collective wisdom in the course of only several days to provide their legal expertise to the Court on behalf of a criminal defendant. The Court trusts that this is a reflection of these eminent academics' willingness in the future to step to the plate and provide like assistance in cases involving any of the numerous litigants, both in this Court and throughout the courts of our nation, who lack the financial means to fully and properly articulate the merits of their legal positions even in instances where failure to do so could result in monetary penalties, incarceration, or worse.

Until we begin showing compassion for other people convicted of racketeering, Governor Edwards needs to remain in prison. The elites in politics believe that when one of their own gets caught breaking the law they deserve compassion and less time than anybody else. I would argue the opposite. A mob boss who is racketeering is doing what is expected of him. A governor acting under the color of authority doesn't need a bipartisan justice committee trying to get him freed.

We are all equal under the law right?