The retrial of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has now entered its third month. People who follow the news will recall the high-profile scandal involving the former governor who was accused of corruption and abuses of power during the latter part of his tenure. The most prominent allegation was that Blagojevich had schemed to use his position to fill the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama in exchange for personal gain. There were other allegations involving improprieties relating to state funding for Children’s Memorial Hospital and the sale of Wrigley Field. It is a twisted tale indeed and former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley once called Blagojevich “cuckoo” to which the governor replied “I don’t think I’m cuckoo.”
Cuckoo or not, the governor’s fortunes began a precipitous decline following his arrest in December 2008 on federal charges of corruption. Talk of impeachment immediately followed and led Blagojevich to announce that if somehow his actions during his tenure constituted impeachable offenses then “I’m on the wrong planet and I’m living in the wrong place.”
Shortly thereafter, in January 2009, he was impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives and subsequently by the Illinois State Senate. In April 2009 he was indicted by a federal grand jury and in August 2010 he was convicted of lying to the FBI, which was only one of the 24 charges he faced, the jury having been hung on the other 23 counts. The prosecution immediately announced that they would seek a retrial on these counts.
The governor repeatedly sought to have the charges dismissed and the trial halted. Defense counsel argued that the case had received such extensive publicity that all of the potential jurors on planet Earth had already been tainted by the many news stories that portrayed Blagojevich unfairly and published inaccurate characterizations of his actions. Taking into account the governor’s statement about being on the wrong planet and anticipating an unfavorable verdict from a hopelessly biased jury, the defense attorneys requested a change of venue to another planet outside of our solar system. U.S. District Judge James Zagel obliged and agreed to move the trial to Gliese 581d, an earthlike exoplanet located about 20 light years from Earth.
In response to the court’s request, friendly aliens from the underground extraterrestrial base in Dulce, New Mexico promptly dispatched a saucer to transport the governor and his defense team to Gliese 581d, a planet they know as Zugzigvy.
The jurors were dismissed and Blagojevich was promptly ushered into a disc under the cover of darkness. The craft departed and entered into a wormhole just behind the moon and arrived at Zugzigvy so quickly that the governor did not even have time to arrange his hair.
As soon as he landed, the Governor was arraigned before a Zugzivian Imperial Anti-Corruption Magistrate. Unfortunately for the governor, the Zugzivian people have no tolerance for corruption and misconduct on the part of their elected officials. Their society is much more advanced than our own and has long evolved past the primitive state whereby elected officials abuse their positions with impunity and betray the trust of their constituents. Corruption is viewed as a very serious crime and the governor’s bench trial lasted less than an hour before he was pronounced guilty on all 23 counts.
Zugzivians do not routinely imprison criminals as this is viewed as a waste of public resources. Instead, they mandate various forms of community service that are designed to rehabilitate the offender while at the same time contributing to the advancement of science and medicine.
Science fiction fans will be familiar with the accounts of alien abductees who assert that they were the objects of invasive and humiliating medical examinations on the part of their extraterrestrial captors. The governor will be no exception, and Nurse Gszkwy stands ready with her multipurpose probing instrument in anticipation of his arrival.