Why Governor Blagojevich Got Such a High Sentence?
Thomas Eric Ost
As the most recent court hearing would suggest, being a smart punk in the press and flaunting the Court’s Orders, thereby making his case a media spectacle, did not help Governor Blagojevich, It hurt him. Don’t get me wrong. Yes, he had a First Amendment right to keep right on speaking; it just seemed that it buried him deeper and deeper. Neither criminal lawyers nor their clients do their case any favors by making a case a media circus. Doing so poisons a potential jury pool, puts extra heat on a prosecutor’s office to rush a case to trial (when maybe it is a case that should settle), gives the prosecution against the defendant extra fuel for proving their case, gives the prosecution evidence to use against the defendant at sentencing, and makes the defense witnesses more reluctant to come forward. The best lawyers do not let publicity wreck their cases and the smart criminal defendants listen to their lawyers and do the same.