Except in this situation. In yesterday's column, Mitchell condemned the light sentence received by former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett, who was convicted for her role in a bribery scandal, one where she expected to pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from her former employer who received a massive no-bid contract. "B3" received only 4 1/2 years in the pokey from a federal judge.
That bribe cash of course was not earmarked "for the kids."
From Mitchell in the CST:
Frankly, I had expected the former schools chief to suffer the same fate as former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is serving a 14-year sentence.Mitchell gets it. Crooked politicians and so-called public servants need to have the fear of a long prison sentence looming over them to frighten them away from corruption.
And it's not because I'm heartless, but this is ridiculous.
At some point, people who are fortunate enough in this life to land in powerful positions, for which they are highly compensated, have to govern honestly or be severely punished.
It will be a very, very long time before another Illinois governor tries to do what Blagojevich did. Every time Blagojevich's wife, Patti, and his daughters are forced to publicly beg for mercy on his behalf, it serves as a warning to other shady politicians.
The gold standard in justified prison sentences for public graft is the 28-year term for former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
Society needs more Kilpatrick-type punishments.