A Democrat receiving his third jail sentence? Not surprising. A Democrat giving up on America? There are plenty of those, although few will actively say it.
A former Democrat congressman giving up on America because he just received his his third jail sentence? Now that’s a humorous way to end the week.
Yes, former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds, a veteran of our country’s penal system, is going back to the hoosegow for six months after being convicted of failing to pay taxes.
“It’s a tragedy that you squandered the opportunities you had and the type of person you could have become,” Judge Robert Gettleman said at the sentencing.
A Harvard graduate, Reynolds represented Illinois’ second district from January 1993 to October 1995. That’s when Reynolds was convicted of having sex with an underage campaign volunteer and obstructing the investigation. (He was replaced by Jesse Jackson Jr., who also has a well-known history with our country’s legal system.)
In 1997, while he was serving his first sentence, he was convicted of what The New York Times called an “array of financial crimes,” earning him more time in jail. Bill Clinton ended up commuting the 78-month sentence on his way out of office.
You would think that a country that offered second and third chances — sometimes with the intervention of the nation’s most powerful man — would at least retain some esteem in Reynolds’ eyes. Nope.
“I’m going home to Africa,” he said. “I’ve given up on America because how long do African-Americans put up with this nonsense?”
Yes, he got convicted of financial crimes because America is racist. And he’s leaving the country all because he didn’t get what he wanted, which was a year of probation.
“To put me in jail serves what purpose?” Reynolds asked Judge Gettleman. “To teach me a lesson? … I’ve been taught about this racist society … every day of my life.”
Keep in mind that he got one quarter of the sentence that prosecutors were asking for; prosecutor Georgia Alexakis said that Reynolds should spend two years behind bars due to his previous convictions and a pattern of financial fraud.
“There are aspects of the defendant’s life that are … laudatory,” Alexakis said. “But the good doesn’t outweigh the bad.”
Reynolds said his pattern of behavior shouldn’t matter to the court.
“The question is, How long does a person have to pay for mistakes?” Reynolds said. Well, probably as long as you keep making them.
The truly wonderful thing about this is that Reynolds thinks that America is racist because it’s sent him to jail three times, ignoring the fact that he was still able to make $400,000 from consulting after two trials and convictions on numerous charges. He’d essentially won life’s lottery and thrown it away twice, on misdeeds both financial and carnal. Yet he’s still a highly-paid consultant … who decided not to pay taxes on his consulting fees.
Bon voyage, Reynolds. Here’s hoping the judges in Africa are a bit easier to bribe than the ones over here.
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