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Jacksons' Crimes "Made Our Democracy Shiver"

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Jacksons' Crimes "Made Our Democracy Shiver"

AP

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi leave the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, after Jackson entered a guilty plea to criminal charges that he engaged in a scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Excerpts from letters to U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Wilkins, regarding the sentencing of Jesse and Sandi Jackson:

“I have known Jesse Jr. all of his life and live on the same street he grew up on. Jesse and my children played together after school. He was a mannerable child and grew up to be a kind and respectable adult. I have always been proud of him and remain so, While in office as Congressman, he did wonderful things for his District…I pray that he will not be defined by the deed he is being charged.” -- Mary DeJohnette, Chicago.
 
“I just want to say when he is sentence please sentence him as you would any other citizen. As our representative did absolutely nothing for his district for the time he served…he looked at being in congress as his meal ticket. The congressman comes from a prominent family and has been afforded the best education that a lot in our society has not.” -- Tina Hawkins, Markham
 
“Congressman Jackson…worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents. I vividly remember going to meeting when he was discussing a third airport. Although he never saw his dream come to fruition, I can remember him saying he always wanted the south side of Chicago and the southern suburbs to look like the area surrounding O’Hare airport. I do believe if he was still in office he would spend every day trying to accomplish that goal. He accomplished other things as well. The residents of Robbins, Illinois, did not have sanitary drinking water, he was able to get money allocated to rectify that problem.” -- Linda Diane Morris
 
“Let me tell you about Jesse Jackson the person. Not only is he highly intelligent, he is charming and entertaining. When things got tough or extremely difficult on the House floor, we could always count of Jesse to bring levity to an otherwise daunting situation with a bad joke or a one-man skit. Jesse was the highlight of our karaoke nights and always made everyone feel like an integral part of, and not apart from, various activities. He made us realize that we could still have fun, which addressing various important national issues…As you weigh the fate of Congressman Jackson, please consider the many fine characteristics he possesses, and his dedicated and passionate service for the people he represented in the United States Congress for 18 years.” -- Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio), Chair, Congressional Black Caucus
 
“I, Jawana Gauthier Walker am writing you on behalf of my cousin Sandi Stevens Jackson. She has pleaded guilty for one count of tax evasion. I’m asking you to please consider her two young children. They, most of all have been greatly affected by the thought that they may be without their mother and father. My cousin is one of the most well respected relatives in our family. She has a heart of gold. She is so compassionate, giving and loving…My cousin Sandi has made many accomplishments in her life. Her credentials are numerous and too many to highlight. She has been involved in many community and charitable events for her division while serving as alderman in Chicago for many years…Judge Wilkins, I’m asking you to consider a lighter sentence of probation so she can be with her kids who needs her the most.” -- Jawana Gauthier Walker
 
“The Jacksons used $750,000 in campaign funds to purchase a lifestyle and have a residual inventory of the items bought worth $63,000. A foolish spending spree of over three quarters of a million dollars, while accepting payment for being public servants…murder would be a lighter crime, as these defendants have used the political hopes and dreams of the constituents as a blank check for deceit. The crimes of this magnitude are not like a traffic ticket. These crimes are in the scope of knowledgeable premeditated carelessness and breach of trust. While the act of being a hypocrite is not punishable. The violation of this magnitude has made our democracy shiver. The lack of concern for the law, with the attempting covering up, requiring a savvy criminal, disagrees strongly with the convenient mental destabilizing condition of Jesse Jackson Jr. The appropriate punishment is far greater than what has been cited.” -- Gregory A Ritter, American citizen
 
 

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