COMMENTARY: Don’t Prosecute Sandi Jackson: Consider Her Kids

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  • Federal prosecutors should leave Sandi Jackson alone.

    I don’t know if Jackson broke the law or if she’s just a scapegoat in a political take-down, but I’m only thinking about her school-age children while this high-profile drama unfolds.

    Jackson, the wife of former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, is reportedly the target of a separate criminal investigation for her role in her husband’s campaign finance mess.

    Jesse Jackson Jr. is already being investigated by federal authorities for possible misuse of campaign funds, which includes a $40,000 Rolex watch he allegedly gave to a close female friend.

    And now, according to The Chicago Sun-Times, Jesse Jr. could be facing “significant jail time” as a part of a plea deal with federal agents. “Significant jail time is now definitely a part of the deal,” a source close to the investigation told the Sun-Times.

    “But I think Sandi feels like she was thrown under the bus by her husband,” now that a separate probe has started on her, another source added.

    So as a father, here’s my concern: The Jacksons have two young children. And even though the couple hasn’t been charged with a crime, Jackson Jr. could end up in prison.

    When is the last time a black married couple was jailed for breaking campaign finance laws? I can’t recall such a scenario.

    I believe it would be irresponsible for federal prosecutors to incarcerate both Jacksons and risk taking them away from their children, leaving the kids without both parents.

    While prosecutors debate whether the Jacksons are corrupt, there should be some thoughtful discussion about how these investigations will impact the Jackson’s children and the heavy emotional toll the kids will endure, perhaps for years to come.

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