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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/1/09

Are Rod Blagojevich's sixth amendment constitutional rights being violated?

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Message Mary MacElveen
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I want to call my reader’s attention to the sixth amendment to our U.S. Constitution. According to Findlaw.com: The sixth amendment to our Constitution pertains to the rights of the accused in criminal prosecutions.

What is contained within that constitutional right is this, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”

Is the U.S. Attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald in violation of this sixth amendment right when it has now been reported he will seek three months to indict Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois? Fitzgerald has sought this three-month time frame due to the complexity of the case at hand.

The sixth amendment specifically states a defendant’s right to an impartial jury and one wonders how he can even get said jury as the mainstream media opines on suppositions.  Isn’t that tainting the jury pool?

Are Blagojevich’s sixth amendment rights to have those confront him in a court of law after being sworn in also being violated by putting off this indictment?

Are Blagojevich’s sixth amendment rights being violated when a complete list of charges have not been filed against him?

Whatever your personal feelings are of Governor ‘F-bomb’ as some have called him in the mainstream media, Governor Blagojevich does have constitutional rights as do we all.

In calling for this three-month delay to indict Blagojevich, Fitzgerald in my opinion jumped the gun and has done a disservice to the residents of Illinois by hamstringing the governor into naming a person to fill the vacancy of that U.S. senate seat.

Blagojevich may be one of the smarmiest politicians to have been elected, but we must remember he has not been indicted.  As so many Democrats turn against him and are all too willing to impeach him and force him to resign one must ask: Did they feel the same way towards former President Bill Clinton as he was being impeached?  Did an overwhelming number of Democrats ask former President Bill Clinton to resign the presidency?  I seem to remember many circling the wagons in order to protect former President Clinton.

As we all know, Clinton’s impeachment resulted in an acquittal in the senate and where it cost the tax-payers $70 million dollars in order to prosecute this case.  At the end the totality of the charges leveled at Clinton was unfounded.

Some have said that a special election should be held to decide who fill the senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama and in listening to the news, a special election will cost the tax-payers of Illinois $50 million dollars.  Is that money well spent especially when so many states are under the economic gauntlet?  At this point, the governor does have the right to name the successor to that senate seat. That right should not be usurped by anyone unless he is removed from office and indicted.

This is where I do feel that Roland Burris should be allowed to fill that senate seat and it will not cost the citizens of Illinois $50 million dollars.

What truly blisters me is how they (The U.S. Senate) are treating Roland Burris by stating they will not accept his appointment when he has not done anything wrong.  Even some in the mainstream media are casting a negative light on him and that is doubly wrong.

While in juxtaposition, I want to call your attention to this video feed where a seven-time convicted senator, Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska was being heralded by many within the senate.  As you will see, they gave a convicted felon a standing ovation.

According to ThinkProgress.org, "Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) then took the floor and said farewell to his “distinguished colleague.” How can Reid call a convicted felon distinguished yet refuse to accept Roland Burris who has not been convicted of any crime or more importantly been charged and indicted of any crime? 

Lastly, to disparage and humiliate a sitting governor without one’s ducks in a row, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has done a disservice not only to the citizens of Illinois, but to the American people who do need that senate seat filled in order to move us forward.  Like it or not, Governor Blagojevich does have the right to name someone to fill that seat and it is part of his responsibility as governor to do so.

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Mary MacElveen Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog http://www.mary-macelveen.blogspot.com I have been published by Buzzflash.com, TheLiberalPatriot.org and MikeHersh.com. I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)
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