Our experiences with the criminal justice system have been limited (thankfully) to a few visits to Traffic Court, and one to Housing Court.
Not only did we get to plead our own cases, but we got to listen to those of everybody who came up beforehand.
As a general rule, defendants who say, "Yeah, I did it, I'm really sorry, it'll never happen again" are quickly offered reduced sentences and lower fines.
Their Honors greatly dislike people with lists of excuses, and other people to blame. They especially hate failure to express remorse. These sad sacks usually wind up facing more charges, and more punishment than before.
Jeff Koch has yet to express any serious contrition, or offer any personal apology, for having gotten a city Redd Up crew mixed up in political corruption. Insisting he was in no way responsible, he appears content to allow Ray Sansone to take the fall.
For having worked the phones for his reelection bid on the public dime, he squarely directs all blame at Eileen Conroy.
And for accepting financial contributions directly from corporations, which is a clear violation of election law, Koch pleads that "sometimes, we make mistakes because we don't know." He says if there's a problem, he'll return the cash.
Nevermind that every other politician in the city has managed to avoid that mistake.
Tonight, we plan on shoplifting a toaster. If we get caught, we'll just give it back!
We are not the judge of Jeff Koch. Yet in light of his continued stubborn defiance in the face of all this wrongdoing, why not just fine him the full $10,000 for the ten counts of accepting illegal campaign cash, and then throw him in prison for a year, as the law allows?