By: Jarrod Horton
This week President Trump granted a pardon to ex-Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich and cut short his prison term of 14 years. The former governor was convicted in 2011 of corruption crimes that included trying to sell the Senate seat that Barack Obama once held. The 63-year-old was released from prison on Tuesday (02.18.20) and acknowledged the actions of the president. ” “He didn’t have to do this, he’s a Republican president and I was a Democratic governor,” he told WGN-TV.
Illinois has a long history of political corruption, so his conviction was that surprising. Four of the last ten Illinois governors have also served prison time. However, the 14-year prison sentence that Blagojevich received was the longest for any Illinois politician in history. Trump has publicly stated in the past that he thought that Blagojevich was too harsh. He simplified his crimes as “being stupid, saying things that every other politician, you know, that many other politicians say.”
Upon his release, Blagojevich stated that he “I’ve learned a lot about the criminal justice system, how unfair it can be, how unjust it is to people of color.”
According to a 2017 article in sbs.com.au, Blacks are five times more likely to go to prison than their White counterparts. Additionally, their sentences are 10 percent longer than white people who commit the same crime.
It’s funny how other groups of people in this country begin to recognize the injustice towards Blacks once they experience their own perception of injustice.