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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Jensen, Schultz Convicted

The Jensen trial is over:
After 17 hours of deliberations over three days, a Dane County jury today convicted former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen of three felonies and one misdemeanor for directing legislative staffers to campaign on state time. [. . .] Jensen would be the fourth lawmaker in the state's 158-year history to be forced out of office by a criminal conviction.
The jury also convicted former Assembly aid Sherry Schultz, who, like Jensen, was not smart enough to know that admitting to the crime before trial is contraindicated in most circulmstances. Jensen had hoped, first, that the "everybody did it" defense would fly (it didn't). Then he tried to use the "I was such a bad boss I didn't know what they were doing" defense (which also apparently didn't work).

I doubt Scooter will do all 16 years of the maximum sentence, but his bad, bad decision to go to trial means he'll almost certainly do more time than any of the other now-convicted former legislators caught up in the scandals. It will also certainly cause--well, shouldcause, if state media follow the leads--some repercussions for Mark Green and Scott Walker, who were in the Assembly at the same time and were implicated in testimony at trial.

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