Don’t Send Blagojevich to Prison!

Before we get into the subject of this article, you need to know that Rod Blagojevich, former Illinois governor, who is going to prison for 14 years for trying to sell President Obama’s former Senate seat, is a Democrat. Why do I bring up his political party affiliation? Because if he were a Republican, the headlines in every newspaper in the country would read: “Republican Sent to Prison for 14 Years.” Consider the following from News Busters:

ABC, NBC, and CBS all reported on former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich receiving a 14-year prison sentence for corruption on their evening news programs on Wednesday and their morning shows on Thursday, but only CBS’s Early Show gave his Democratic affiliation. ABC devoted only 3 news briefs total to the conviction, while NBC Nightly News and The Early Show aired full reports.

Now that I got that out of my system, on with the article.

Democrat Barney Frank and company sent our nation into a near financial death spiral, and he is leaving office in 2012 untouched by any sort of scandal, including paying for sex with a man who was using Frank’s house for male prostitution. In fact, he’s been adorned and adored by the media.

The criminals in DC, some from both parties, are still in office and drawing a salary, and Blagojevich is going to prison for 14 years. Ridiculous. Blagojevich should pay some form of restitution. He could work at soup kitchens. He could clean the bathrooms at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Sweeping the floors at the state capital building would be a just punishment. Maybe he could do “show and tell” at the local high schools explaining to the students how corrupt politics is, especially Chicago politics.

He could grow out his well coiffed head of hair and have it cut periodically to be used to make wigs for cancer patients. In 14 years, he might be able to donate about 40 wigs worth.

Blagojevich’s time in prison is going to cost the tax payers millions of dollars. Using him as a true civil servant won’t cost taxpayers anything.

Then there’s Jodie Foster’s father who is going to prison for bilking people out of $200,000. “Lucius Foster — estranged from his film star daughter — was found guilty Wednesday on 21 counts of grand theft, after taking down-payments from 25 investors on homes that were never built, the Sherman Oaks Patch reported.” He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Once again, the tax payers will pay this enormous prison bill that will be in the millions. The only bright side, from the cost side, is that Foster is 89 years old and probably won’t last more than a year in prison.

Foster was reported to have told judge Gregory Dohi after the verdict was handed down that he would keep building houses and pay back the people he scammed. “I don’t think you get it,” Dohi told him. “You can never do this kind of work again.”

Does the elder Foster have any assets? Does he have any skills? Could he work picking up trash on construction sites and get paid something so he can at least pay back even a little of what he stole? Restitution is a biblical and constitutional way for people to pay victims of property crimes. Consider the following from Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson:

Recently I addressed the Texas legislature. . . . I told them that the only answer to the crime problem is to take nonviolent criminals out of our prisons and make them pay back their victims with restitution. This is how we can solve the prison crowding problem.

The amazing thing was that afterwards they came up to me one after another and said things like, “That’s a tremendous idea. Why hasn’t anyone thought of that?” I had the privilege of saying to them, “Read Exodus 22. It is only what God said to Moses on Mount Sinai thousands of years ago.”1

Even after the abolition of slavery, indentured servitude was retained by the Constitution as a legitimate form of punishment: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” (Amendment XIII, Section 1).

Don’t send Blago to jail. Send him there to clean the cells.

  1. Charles Colson, “The Kingdom of God and Human Kingdoms,” James M. Boice, ed. Transforming Our World: A Call to Action (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1988), 154–155. []