Frankly I’m Stunned! Do Convicted Rod Blagojevich’s comments reflect on his state of mind?

July 4, 2011

A federal jury convicted Rod Blagojevich of sweeping corruption, ending the  political drama that brought another popular politician!  Blagojevich’s response, “Frankly, I’m stunned!”  Blagojevich then stated, “There’s not much left to say other than we want to get home to our little girls and talk to them and explain things to them and try to sort things out.”

In its 10th day of deliberations, the jury convicted Blagojevich of several shakedown attempts, including allegations that he brazenly tried to sellPresidentBarack Obama’s oldU.S. Senate seat.  The decisive verdict came less than a year after the first jury to hear the case found him guilty of one criminal charge but deadlocked on the rest.  It appears the prosecution learned from the first trial as they concluded with a prosecution win on the second.

Facing a lengthy prison term, Blagojevich will now have to face reality in a new world.  But, what do you make of his comment, “Frankly, I’m stunned?”  How can one be so caught up in the illusion of innocence when the facts or guilt seem so obvious?

A news report stated: “Likewise, there was an oddly schizophrenic nature to the Blagojevich defense, both the one he waged in court and the one he waged with vocal and strident indignation in the media. Almost in the same breath, the Blagojevich narrative portrayed him as a paragon of ethics and a wheeling-dealing practitioner of politics as usual in a system he frequently decried as corrupt.”

Is it possible that Blagojevich lacked the capacity to understand ethics?  Is it possible that, in a twisted way, Blagojevich felt, like many, that business as usual was ethical and quite acceptable?

The Media report went on to say related to the sentence as it was read:

He eventually mouthed the words “I love you” toward his wife, who was in the first row crying and leaning on her brother. Moments after the jury left the room, Blagojevich embraced her and cradled her head, telling her it would be all right.

The trial exhibited multiple Blagojevich personalities, the manic and almost desperate-sounding schemer heard on wiretaps; the strident and outraged everyman fighting the system that came out in multiple media appearances following his arrest; and the humble, polite and modest presence on the witness stand before jurors.


A Home Run or A Plea Agreement? Barry Bonds Comes Out Swinging!

December 8, 2007

Barry Bonds - WSJ Photo

According to Barry Bonds attorney, Kevin V. Ryan, former United States attorney who helped lead the investigation into what got Bonds in trouble, now sports defense attorney, his clients defense will likely go to trial. Barry Bond pleaded not guilty to five felony charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. The government’s assertion is that he lied four years ago when he told a grand jury he did not take steroids or human growth hormone.

His defense team consists of six – yep that’s – 6 attorneys. Great information about the legal side of Mr. Bonds defense can be found at the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog. Comments from the December 7th law blog is as follows:

The Law Blog has been surprised at how outspoken Ryan has been in the media about the Bonds case. Among other interviews, he told the NYT this morning that he expects Bonds to take the case to trial and predicted that his former deputies would call anyone connected to Bonds who appeared in front of the grand jury. “They’ll throw everything into it,” Ryan said, explaining that 10 months ago there was almost enough evidence to indict Bonds in the summer of 2006. Ryan also told the Daily News that Bonds’s legal team should ratchet down its aggressive rhetoric being directed at the government.

According to the New York Times in an article on December 6th:

Ryan (one of Bond’s attorneys) left the office 10 months ago but said there was almost enough evidence to indict Bonds in the summer of 2006. He said he decided to hold back to pressure Greg Anderson, Bonds’s trainer, to cooperate. Anderson had been in prison for only two weeks at that time, Ryan said.

Anderson spent another year behind bars for civil contempt of court for refusing to testify about Bonds and was released Nov. 15, the day Bonds was indicted. If he refuses to testify at trial, Ryan said, Anderson could be charged with a probation violation, punishable by up to two years in prison, or with criminal contempt of court.

Peter Keane, a 30-year veteran defense lawyer and dean emeritus at Golden Gate University Law School who has studied the case, said his best advice to Bonds would be for him to stop fighting and start negotiating. He said Bonds would have to take the stand in his defense to have any hope of prevailing.

With a plea agreement, he said, Bonds could get two months in prison instead of the 30 months he could face if convicted at trial.

The government would have to prove Bonds used steroids and human growth hormone and knew that he did, Keane said. Prosecutors are expected to use as evidence Bonds’s drastic increase in body size, a document revealing a positive steroid test result from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative and the testimony of other baseball players who obtained steroids from Anderson.

Because Bonds has said he did not knowingly take steroids, his lawyers could point to the grand jury transcript itself to introduce that defense at trial. But Keane said the only effective way to persuade a jury of Bonds’s state of mind would be for him to testify.

“Then there is the enormous problem of Bonds’s personality,” Keane said. “He’s got that short fuse. He comes across as very arrogant and very full of himself. Those are the qualities that if a jury thinks he is projecting to them, they’re going to hate him.”

In an interview last week, Cristina C. Arguedas, a prominent lawyer being considered for the defense team, also dismissed the thought of a plea agreement. “I don’t think anyone would negotiate this case,” Arguedas said. “Why would you? Barry has a good defense. He says he’s innocent. I would bet you anything this case won’t be negotiated.”

As a business ethics speaker, I must say, I won’t claim to know a great deal about sports steroid use. However, I do know a thing or two about choices, consequences and prison. I’ve made bad choices, and suffered the consequences in prison. Bonds is choosing a path that will either set him free or subject him to an outcome he certainly won’t want.

The issue at hand is not whether he used steroids. The issue is whether he lied. Not unlike Martha Stewart’s conviction. Martha was not convicted for securities violations, she was convicted for lying.

It is said that you reap what you sow. That is true! In this case Bonds is now walking a tight rope, cause the best way to prove his innocence is for him to put himself in the most difficult spot possible – squarely in front of the jurors who will ultimately decide his fate. When the dust settles – soon we will know the truth about consequences.

Perhaps if found innocent, Bonds will use the experience to help others learn from his costly lesson…it is always best to tell the truth.

Mike Tyson – In the “Pink”

November 20, 2007

prison1.jpgEvery choice has a consequence.  Some consequences are significant and life changing and some – well some just make you stop and think. 

Today Mike Tyson reported to the Maricopa County jail system to serve a one-day sentence for a DUI conviction (other wise known as Tent City).

Now most folks know that Mike Tyson has known his share of trouble from the choices he has made.  It seems that he’s a bit hard headed about what it takes to turn his life around. 

This particular facility is nationally famous for it’s treatment of prisoners.  Three things stand out:  (1) all inmates are fed a bologna sandwich for lunch; (2) inmates must wear black and white striped uniforms; and (3) all inmates must wear pink underwear.  That’s right – men or women inmates must wear pink underwear.

While iron Mike may be a tough guy…at least for one day in his life he will be reminded that every choice has a consequence.  Pink underwear may make no difference in the long run…I can promise that it’s something that he’ll never forget.

And…never forgetting is the theme of this blog.  The sooner we remember that every choice has a consequence the sooner we can create positive results and outcomes in our lives by the positive choices we make.

Any comments for “Iron Mike?”

Texas Motivational Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off…