Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Justice Delayed

It took 418 days for Michael Jackson to be indicted, tried and acquitted of child molestation charges, 275 days passed between Martha Stewart's indictment and her conviction for obstruction of justice and insider trading, and it took 473 days for murder charges filed against O.J. Simpson to be dismissed.

The wheels of justice are turning considerably more slowly in the cases of top Wisconsin politicians facing felony corruption charges, thanks to the creativity of high-priced lawyers and a state court system that has granted them the rare privilege of hearing their repeated pre-trial appeals. By our count, it's been 1,098 days since criminal charges were filed against former Senator Brian Burke, 985 days have passed since former Senate Majority Leader Chuck Chvala was charged with 20 felonies including extortion, and 984 days since the felony indictments of former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen and former Assembly Majority Leader Steve Foti.

No trials are yet in sight.

Chvala left the Legislature after the charges against him were filed. Jensen stepped down as Assembly Speaker but has been re-elected – twice – and was given the plum assignment of serving on the Legislature's powerful Joint Finance Committee. Burke and Foti now are Capitol lobbyists.

1 comment:

Jack Lohman said...

If convicted, neither Burke nor Foti should be allowed to lobby government. They've demonstrated a disregard for clean government.