Democratic member of the Illinoise House of Representatives, LaShawn Ford, has just pulled off a remarkable magic trick within the American justice system that’s worthy of a Hollywood movie starring the cast of A Few Good Men.
Somehow while facing 8 charges of bank fraud and 9 charges of lying to a judge during a November sentencing—all of which are crimes which carry sentences punishable up to 30 years each—Ford plead guilty to another charge of lying on his tax return and shorting the IRS a measly $3000, a sentence which carries the maximum of a year in prison, and all the other charges were dropped. Yes, as I said, it’s remarkable.
This mysterious decision to drop the 17 serious charges laid against Ford in return for a guilty plea of the most insignificant is shocking, as the prosecution had many more “complex allegations” to provide. Even more mysterious are the actions of the judge handling the proceedings, who scheduled a trial date for the accused’s felonies to be held in August:
“Last month she vacated that date without explanation and then didn’t set a new date. Monday was supposed to be a pre-trial status hearing, and the dismissal of the felonies and Ford’s change of plea came as a surprise to outside observers.” –AP.
Adding to the out-of-the-ordinary behavior was the prosecutions refusal to speak with press on Monday after Ford gave his plea; although Ford’s lawyer, Thomas Durkin, was all smiles as he walked out of the courtroom. Durkin’s entire case, before this unprecedented move, was based on the race card:
“Unable to find any political corruption grounds to prosecute, the prosecutors selected this misguided and improper bank fraud case in an attempt to unseat a popular African-American elected representative.” –Thomas Durkin.
Whether or not any of the prosecution was driven by race, which is doubtful, it should have no bearing on the fact they had records to prove to the accused, whether he was black, white, red, or green, had broken the law compulsively, without any regard for his actions, repeatedly for years. It’s nothing short of outrageous that this criminal is able to avoid a lifetime in prison with a sore anus because he plead guilty to one of many crimes he committed. Imagine if Ted Bundy plead guilty to cheating on his taxes and the prosecution threw away the charges of him chopping off young girls heads. If this were anyone else not involved in high levels of the corrupt world of Chicago politics I’d be willing to bet the outcome would be radically different.
Ford, if sentenced to prison will lose his spot in politics and do a little time behind bars.
by Olan Thomas
This article was presented for the purposes of education only.
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