Saturday, May 22, 2010
MESSAGE TO BONUSGATE DEFENDANTS
The harsh sentence of the first defendant in the Bonusgate case is meant to send a message - not to any state workers out there who might be thinking of sending an e-mail on the taxypayer dime, but to the defendants who are awaiting trial.
The message is this: don't exercise your right to a trial before a jury of your peers. Say whatever Tom Corbett wants you to say. Admit to whatever Tom Corbett wants you to admit. Spare him the embarrassment of sending his inept prosecutors to court, where you stand a very good chance of being acquitted of most or all of the charges against you.
The judge really does not want to sit through another one of Tom Corbett's incompetent, six-week dog-and-pony shows, and he would really like you to spare him that.
The thing is, if you go to trial, Tom Corbett will have to show you the evidence against you. And he would probably prefer to keep that evidence to himself. After all, that evidence might reveal something like, oh, say, his main collaborator against you is actually a ringleader in the crimes for which you're being prosecuted. (And also that the collaborator is a total whack-job.) It might expose how he overlooked evidence against other people and then he might have to go back and indict them, too, just to save face. He may even have to come up with a whole different case against some of them, because something is keeping him from charging them in the matters for which you yourselves are indicted.
And all of that would be awfully inconvenient and time-consuming for him. He's got a lot on his plate, what with running for governor and all.
Look, Bonusgate defendants: chances are pretty good that Tom Corbett's going to be Governor. You don't want to make him mad. Look at what he does with the power he has as Attorney General. Dragging people in front of a grand jury for any old reason he feels like. No telling what he might do as governor.
Message: Be afraid. Give in. Give up. Submit. Shut up. It's what Tom Corbett wants.