Richmond Times Dispatch:


Former Gov. Bob McDonnell will not be reporting to prison next month, thanks to a brief order from the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday that grants him bond pending his appeal.

The court noted that McDonnell is not a danger to society or a flight risk, that his appeal is not a delay tactic, and that there is a substantial question of law or fact that could lead to a reversal or new trial.

“I am grateful for today’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit allowing me to remain free on bond pending my appeal,” McDonnell said in a statement.

Virginia’s 71st governor said, “I plan to spend time with my new granddaughter who was born this month, attend my sons’ graduation ceremonies, and embrace family time with my daughters.”

I am pleased he won his appeal.  McDonnell made some bad choices.  He didn’t take a bribe, cheat anyone, steal, or embezzle.  He broke no Virginia laws.  However, the federal government swooped in and basically overruled Virginia.

I resent that and I also don’t think McDonnell is a bad person.  I think he should have been allowed to do community service.  Let’s cast our partisan politics aside.   McDonnell was stupid.  Being stupid isn’t illegal.

Disclosure:  I am no fan of McDonnell.  I disdain his politics.

9 Thoughts to “McDonnell to remain free pending appeal”

  1. Scout

    This seems like a sound decision by the Court of Appeals. They would not have taken this approach if they had considered the issues raised on appeal to be frivolous. It would have been a great injustice to require McDonnell to report to prison for several months of incarceration only to have his position vindicated down the road.

  2. Steve Thomas


  3. Rick Bentley

    I’d prefer him in prison. Not because I think he’s an especially bad guy. But because we should punish people for crimes they commit.

    1. The man is 60 years old and broke no Virginia laws. Why is punishment so important to you?

      I thought the main reason for prison was to protect society from those who would do it harm.

      If it was really for punishment would would have convicts out working in the salt mines.

  4. Rick Bentley

    But, you know, if you have money you get to play by a different set of rules. We’re instiuitionalizing that in America.

  5. He didn’t have the money and he was expected to play in an arena that required money. That was the problem.

    Perhaps McDonnell’s fault is that he was simply too middle class.

    None of this would have happened if Terry McAuliffe had been the governor. He has his own money and lots of it.

  6. George S. Harris

    I’m sorta with Rick-how did that happen? If this was anybody but the former governor, they would be sitting in prison while their attorney worked on their appeal. Rank does have some privileges. Maybe he didn’t break any state laws but apparently a judge and jury thought he broke some federal laws. Maybe he will luck out on an appeal but in the meantime, he should be locked up just like an ordinary citizen.

    1. People do what McDonnell did at work every day of their lives and are never prosecuted. What is it that he did that particularly torques you?

  7. Scout

    The difference in this case, George, is not race, class or rank, but the nature of the laws under which the prosecution was conducted. The Court of Appeals realizes that this is a prosecution that really pushes the envelope on federal laws governing the “honest services” of state officials. They want to take a hard look at it. Eventually, the conviction may be upheld, but we’re in new territory here and anyone’s liberty, even a former Republican Governor, is entitled to the exercise of great care prior to its being confiscated. If it had been a carjacking or a heroin bust, the application of the law might not be so novel.

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