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America Has Two Justice Systems: Essay by James Rosemond

Dennis Hastert

Dennis Hastert

I was reading the USA TODAY newspaper and I ran across an article, Serial Molester Hastert Sentenced.  I quickly realized that I knew the name because this was a man who was a former House of Representative Speaker, “who stood second in line to the presidency,” according to the article.

Hastert had molested over five underage male students 15 years old and younger when he coached a wrestling team. The article went on to say, “familiar in that similar tales unfolded too many times before: coaches, teachers, Boy Scout leaders, priests and other respected individuals who kept repugnant behavior hidden for years… Typical abusers are not scuzzy figures lurking in playground bushes, they are often civic or religious leaders who appear above reproach and gravitate toward jobs that give them access to children.”

Now, being a father of a six year old and 15 year old these things always concern me. But what made me remember Dennis Hastert so vividly is some of the bills that he voted for while he was in Congress and one of those bills was a drug bill that effectively gave me a life sentence on these charges I was arrested on. Ironically, “while in Congress, Hastert said repeat child molesters should go to jail for the rest of their lives,” said the USA TODAY. Well guess what former House Speaker Hastert received Wednesday for sentencing? 15 months (1 year, 3 months)! He got to ruin a half a dozen teenagers lives and got a year. Really?????

Here’s what else bothered me – the overwhelming support he received after committing these crimes. Let me list of few of his supporters: Tom Delay, former majority leader, wrote the judge and said: “He has never disappointed me in anyway. He is a man of strong faith that guides him. He is a man of great integrity. He loves and respects his fellow man.”

Another letter written was from Porter Goss, a former CIA director: “I believe I can fairly speak for the intelligence community that we are deeply indebted to Speaker Hastert for his commitment and judgment when it mattered.” WHOA!!!! CIA????? REALLY???? And these are the people we entrust with putting laws on the books? Furthermore, we look toward these individuals for some form of moral compass to make put the laws on the books.

Lastly, Thomas C. Green wrote: “Despite his mistakes in judgment and his transgressions, for which he is profoundly sorry, we implore this court to consider the entirety of Mr. Hastert’s life (including the fact that he reshaped his life many years ago).” 

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James Rosemond

Wow, Mr. Green’s letter to the court reminds me of a lot of the letters I received on my behalf when supporters who knew me and love me requested to the judge not to give me a life sentence for drugs that I never was arrested with or found with or even been wire-tapped talking about – just some jailhouse informants saying I had drugs – mere hearsay. smh…

I got life and Mr. Hastert received 15 months. Please help me understand and make sense of this here. Surely were operating under two different laws but the Justice system sees SOME totally different and applies differently to different people. America is a land of second chances, at least for Mr. Hastert and not me.

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