Spending twenty three hours a day with yourself, in jail…would lead most people to do some real introspective deep thinking about the reasons you find yourself sitting behind bars. Especially for a person who had been living the high life as Mayor of Detroit; it is a big lifestyle adjustment. Kwame Kilpatrick will have just such an opportunity to do some of that self examination. Yesterday, Mr. Kilpatrick began to serve a 120 day sentence for a variety of offenses. He lied to the court about a sexual relationship with his Chief of Staff, Christine Beatty, he lied about text messages to the court which confirmed the affair and he also got into a scuffle with officers trying to serve a subpoena. There were several offenses that the mayor had been accused of.
At least two of those offenses ended with him pleading guilty to obstruction of jutice & no contest to felonious assault. He lied to the court…effectively tying the hands of the legal system, for most of the summer, by using his legal team to fight his removal from office. Michigan’s Governor Granholm had to hold a hearing to forcibly remove him. After that hearing he was heard to say, “You done set me up for a comeback”. This arrogance and defiance moved the judge to sentence him to the full 120 day sentence; typically, a person who exhibits good behavior can shave approximately 20 days off of their sentence, not in Kilpatrick’s case. The judge was clearly put out by the demeanor of the former mayor throughout this whole process.
The thing is…if someone has been publically shamed by their private and professional behavior; and then, goes on to be legally chastized and still continues to mock and make light of the situation…you have to wonder if they have learned anything at all about how to conduct themselves appropriately. Will spending this punnitive time in jail help Mr. Kilpatrick to re-evaluate the direction of his life?
The things that he has sacrificed by conducting his affair(s) and lying to the authorities and the court, thereby, possibly harming his relationship with his wife and children, having to give up his law license, as well as his freedom; should be counted as natural consequences for living outside the bounds of legal and moral responsibilities to those to whom he was supposed to be accountable to. And yet, from reading accounts of yesterdays events…it sounds as though Mr. Kilpatrick mocked the prosecutors by saying things like, “I love you man” and asking them “How you doing? Can’t even smile”? This doesn’t bode well for learning from his mistakes.
Some people would say that his demeanor is encouraged by his supporters; such as those who observed the former mayor being led from the court room, who shouted encouragement to him such as “Be Strong, We got your back, We love you mayor”. Will he have a political future when he is free to pursue such goals Where is the accountability?
After serving the 120 day sentence, Mr. Kilpatrick will also be on probation for 5 years, give up his law license, and repay the city of Detroit $1 million dollars.
So I say, if you are going to spend 23 hours a day with someone…it might as well be someone you like alot. Only 119 days to go, Mr. Kilpatrick. The people that i truly feel sorry for is his wife and children. I am sure they are suffering more than he is. They have had to move out of their home, they have lost a large part of their financial support, and, they have to endure the publicity for their husband and father’s actions for a long time to come. Should he be allowed to run for public office ever again with this legal black mark on his record?