When we care more about politics than murder
A man murders his wife and gets a 17 year jail sentence, but is released after serving only 7 years. Another man is accused of using his politics to give himself a political advantage, and he ends up being sentenced to 14 years in prison. How terrible is our society that we care more about politics than we do about murder?
By Ray Hanania
How could this have happened?
A woman enters a Walmart only to be escorted by a Bridgeview Police officer to his car facing accusations of shop lifting. Witnessing this from his parked car is the suspect’s boyfriend, Joseph Jesk, who gets out and has a verbal altercation with the officer.
The officer pulls away with the suspect in the back, when the boyfriend drives after them bumping the police car in front of Pete’s Market, the food superstore right next to the Walmart.
The police officer stops and gets out of his car. The boyfriend stops his car, gets out and then pulls what appears to be a handgun pointing it at the officer’s head, still yelling about his girlfriend.
With no choice, the police officer pulls his weapon and shoots the suspect, who dies the next day at a local hospital. The gun turns out to be a BB gun, which makes little difference in this tragic saga.
But there is an even bigger tragedy. It turns out that this isn’t the first time Jesk has been in trouble, but reporters note he is a former Iraq War Veteran. The military discharged Jesk in January 2010 and clearly troubled, weeks later on Feb. 27, Jesk shot and killed his Oak Lawn wife, Heather.
Jesk pled guilty and was sentenced in December 2012 to 17 years in prison, but was paroled in Jan. 2018, serving only six years including time served. He was arrested again for drug use, and was sitting in a car in a major retail parking lot when his last chapter was written.
What part of this story makes you feel sicker? That he suffered trauma during a war we should never have fought? That he was never given proper treatment after being discharged? That when he kills his wife, he serves only six years? Or that he pulled out a BB gun at a police officer who had arrested his girlfriend and was then gunned down in self-defense by the police officer?
What this story tells us is that our system is flawed. It doesn’t work.
First, this story would have taken different media turns save for the fact that the suspect was White. No one was screaming about the “rights” of a man killed after pointing a BB gun at a police officer.
But second, had this guy not been let out of jail in 2010, and had he been forced to served his sentence of 17 years, instead of just six, he’d be alive, maybe even getting the rehab he couldn’t get when he was outside of the justice system. (Technically, after he violated his parole with the drug conviction, he should have been sent back to prison to serve the remainder of his murder charge. That didn’t happen because of the corruption of Cook County.)
In what world does a man who shoots his wife in cold blood only gets sentenced to 17 years. I don’t care what the reason is. In anything other than an accident, any shooter should get a minimum of 25 years without the possibility of parole.
Yet, I still can’t get this saga out of my tortured brain. Joseph Jesk gets 17 years for killing his wife and is paroled in six years, and Rod Blagojevich gets 14 years in prison accused of thinking about doing something illegal that he hasn’t done, and his appeals for parole have been slapped down every time.
Let me say something, that if you are moving into a state where a wife killed get out in six years and a politician accused of corruption is still in prison serving 14 years, turn your car around and move someplace else.
Because that is one screwed-up system.
But then, we live in Illinois. And we just sit back and let this kind of whacked out imbalance of justice all happen.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. This column was originally published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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