Recent Comments

Label Cloud

Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Batman: "Let the Joker go."

by folkbum

Which is how I paraphrased the Journal Sentinel headline in my head as I read it:
Attorney general against retrial

Attorney General [and Republican] J.B. Van Hollen said that he hopes a plea deal can be negotiated that will avoid the retrial of former Assembly Speaker [and Republican] Scott Jensen, whose three felony convictions for misconduct were overturned in November.

Van Hollen said it would be in the best interest of all parties "if you can resolve the case without a trial," although the attorney general noted the final call will be made by Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard. [. . .]

The Republican attorney general's opinion is significant, because the state Department of Justice he runs was a partner in both the investigation and prosecution of Jensen and four other legislative leaders who were convicted of ordering or doing on-the-job campaigning. [. . .]

Van Hollen conceded that he could indirectly influence Blanchard's decision to retry Jensen by denying the district attorney resources he had during the first trial, including the courtroom help of Assistant Attorney General Roy Korte, one of the Justice Department's most experienced prosecutors. Korte and Blanchard jointly conducted the first three-week trial.

"I don't anticipate that we're going to use our assistance as a hammer for purposes of getting somebody to do our will. It may be that no resolution can be arrived at for any number of reasons," Van Hollen said.
True, JB "Batman" Van Hollen thinks a plea bargain would be the better option, over a retrial. However, we also know that Jensen refused up and down to take a plea deal when offered one--unlike his Democratic and Republican counterparts who pleaded out years ago. In fact, in all this time that Scott Jensen has been hemming and hawing and please-don't-send-me-to-jail stalling for time, former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Chvala not only pleaded guilty to two felonies, but went to jail, served his time, and was released.

What are the odds that Jensen will fess up now--versus holding out for a new trial now that he knows the AG's office will back out?

Perhaps Van Hollen is willing to give Jensen a pass, seeing as how Jensen is not one of those terrorists Van Hollen imagined were hiding behind every wheel of Cheddar back during the 2006 campaign. But for someone who did run on a law-n-order theme, and who held out his own experience as a get-tough prosecutor as the chief reason to elect him, Van Hollen's sudden disinterest in crime committed by fellow Republicans seems awfully suspicious.

Post edited slightly for clarity. Twice.

No comments: