Jackson, wife given jail terms

The Washington Post

Jesse Jackson Jr., a once-promising Illinois congressman, was sentenced to 30 months in prison Wednesday for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money to fund an extravagant lifestyle.

In an emotional hearing that capped Jackson’s precipitous downfall, the longtime House member said he would serve as an example to all of Congress for failing to separate his personal life from his political activities, and that he “could not have been more wrong.”

“I misled the American people, I misled the House of Representatives,” Jackson said as he dabbed his eyes with a pile of tissues. “I was wrong, and I do not fault anyone.”

Jackson, 48, was sentenced to 2½ years and his wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson, 49, to a term of 12 months.

The couple pleaded guilty in February to using about $750,000 in campaign funds to pay for items from the pedestrian to the luxurious: car repairs and trips to Costco, in addition to fur wraps and a gold-plated Rolex watch.

As the family of the Rev. Resse Jackson looked on, the former congressman asked to serve his term at a facility not near Chicago or Washington but in Alabama, “far away from everybody for a while,” he said through tears.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is no relation, said Jackson and his wife, a former Chicago alderman, used campaign money as a “personal piggy bank” and that they were “supposed to live up to a higher level of integrity.”

“There may be blurred lines for Congress to follow when their lives are political. This case did not come near those areas,” she said.

“This was a knowing, organized joint misconduct that was repeated over many years,” she said.

  • Eagle

    Some people steal a lunchbox from the convenience store to survive; some steal a fortune to maintain luxury lifestyle, some kill for money or out of passion, some kill or only cause injury to fend off a street assault and to save their lives. (They succeed and stay alive but then they lose the court battle.)

    All one, they all go to jail, they are equally criminals in the eyes of the law.
    Yet, I still see a great difference between them. That is because I am not the law.
    P.s. Anybody can tell me what is so special about Rolex watches?
    I mean I can understand that someone gets fascinated by a luxury of trip to a nice place or something like that, but to take the slightest risk for owning a Rolex watch??????

    I never understood that, the watches’ design does not fit into categories such as modern or conservative, casual or elegant much less any others.
    What’s the big fuss about it? It a robust, hulky, bulk, inelegant, cubbish, big heavy chunk of metal, isn’t even accurate.

    Never understood why the craze for that watch, and a person like she in her position would take a risk to commit a crime for that watch????