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.

The cynics will say the Jacksons should have thought about their children before they got caught up in a federal probe, but the truth is their children didn’t ask to be put in this situation – it just suddenly came crashing down around them.

In the meantime, Sandi Jackson, who resigned from her position as a Chicago Alderman last month, has retained her own legal counsel, Dan Webb, and a source told the Sun-Times that federal authorities are “trying to figure out exactly what to do” with her.

And according to the Sun-Times, “Sandi Jackson claims she was stunned by campaign finance abuse disclosures against her husband.” Sandi Jackson told NBC last year that there was a $69,000 discrepancy between campaign finance reports issued by her office and Jesse Jr’s office and she blamed the problem on clerical errors.

So do federal agents really have enough evidence on Sandi Jackson to bring her to trial or are they trying to make examples of the Jacksons because they were a high-flying couple who have now fallen from grace? Or are they simply using Sandi Jackson as a pawn to force Jesse Jr. into a plea deal?

Jesse Jr., 47, has been treated for bipolar disorder, and cited ill health as his reason for stepping down from Congress last year.  He also acknowledged in a resignation letter a continuing federal criminal investigation.

“For 17 years I have given 100 percent of my time, energy and life to public service,” Jackson wrote in the letter to Speaker John A. Boehner. “However, over the past several months, as my health has deteriorated, my ability to serve the constituents of my district has continued to diminish. Against the recommendations of my doctors, I had hoped and tried to return to Washington and continue working on the issues that matter most to the people of the Second District. I know now that will not be possible.”

But many black Democrats who supported Jesse Jr. over the years now feel like Jackson deceived them.

“To slap us in the face now, you just lied to us,” Chicago Alderwoman Carrie Austin told reporters last year. “You just lied to us. I feel so betrayed.”

Clearly, Jesse Jr. and Sandi Jackson are tangled in a legal thicket and Jesse Jr. could serve time behind bars. But federal authorities shouldn’t make orphans out of the Jackson’s children by trying to jail Sandi Jackson, too.

(Photo: AP)

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6 thoughts on “COMMENTARY: Don’t Prosecute Sandi Jackson: Consider Her Kids

  1. Lynnette on said:

    Seriously, This was not worth the read. She should be held accountable. Couples go to jail for less than stealing from the government. I don’t feel sorry for either one of them. And shame on TJMS for even suggestioning/entertaining such an idea – that they be above the law because they have children. And someone please explain why is everyone avoiding asking Jesse Jackson Sr. about his corrupt son and daughter-in-law. Talk about an purple drunken elephant in the room.

  2. Cindy Cruz on said:

    Stupid article! Couples go to jail all the time.
    Perhaps the ever corrupt Jacksons should have thought twice before committing their crimes. If Sandi Jackson was part of the shakedown and corruption she needs to do her time. Unfit parents

    • Why the hell is it we want to uphold CERTAIN people in wrong? if she committed a crime then yes she should do the time…NO ONE SHOULD BE ABOVE THE LAW because of their ‘status’ in life…their status should have made them abide by the law even more so! it is so sad we often see this with politians and especially pastors! usually they start out with good intentions but what they often allow themselves to become corrupt all because of the LOVE OF MONEY!!!!!! their own selfish pride and plain old fashion GREED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if it true she knew anything about what was going on that was wrong and did not try to remove herself from it then —-too little to late now!!! lock her azz up right beside her husband….just maybe others will think twice before they think they can get away with a crime!

  3. hoodtechie on said:

    have the grandad(jesse jackson sr.) take custody.if she committed a crime she should suffer the consequences as do everyone else.the jacksons are no more above the law than any other citizen.this favoritism is what causes corruption in the system,espeicially in chicago.

  4. “Don’t Prosecute Sandi Jackson: Consider Her Kids”….Why not prosecute her?! Clearly, neither she, nor her husband, had any consideration for them, or their constituents, when they DECIDED to break laws that brought them into this predicament!

    “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.” Different question, same answer…..why should they be let off the hook for committing crimes they KNEW carried the risk of them being separated from their children, courtesy of the criminal justice system.

    Look, if politics in this country, especially among black people, has any chance for redemption, the ax must be administered to those that commit crimes. Period.

    These sentiments were never extended to the low-level, feral-minded blacks involved in all manner of crime that earned them jail time and separation from their children. So, why should the Jacksons be exempt from punishment?! Just as hard and fast you, Tom, and other black people with an audience come down hard and furious against these white politicians and business people for similar crimes, extend the same to these two clowns.

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