March 7, 2014

Mark Begich Defends His Vote For Cop Killer’s Lawyer

Last night in Mark Begich’s telephone town hall, a constituent praised Begich for his support for the failed nomination of Debo Adegbile,
President Obama’s controversial choice to be assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice. Adegbile garnered opposition for his work with convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Begich offered a spirited defense for Adegbile.

QUESTION: “I want to thank you for your vote to end the filibuster on the nominee for the Assistant Attorney General For Civil Rights and I wonder if you think that nomination could be rescued?”

BEGICH: “I don’t-that’s a great question Theeta. I’m not sure what will happen next but let me just say this on that nomination, I know there’s a lot of people out there saying you know blogosphere, it’s like that Allstate commercial about you know don’t believe everything on the internet but you know they’re out there talking about this nominee. Let me make it very clear on this nominee. This nominee, the individual that he was representing or was representing an organization that was asking a question regarding this trial, this individual was sentenced to death for killing a police officer, which he justly deserved that sentence because he did commit that crime but it was commuted to life in prison. And then five years after that, the NAACP was asked to ask the question about the jury and how the jury’s instructions were given in regards to the issue of the life sentence or the death sentence. And both a Reagan and a Bush judge has agreed with that conclusion that that NAACP attorney went through. So I-but the problem is it’s become very politicized. And it’s too bad because you know if now we’re going to judge people who want to be in positions if they were an attorney about who they represented just about every attorney’s never going to be allowed-some people might think that’s good but we’re never going to allow any attorneys to be in any position because you know under the Constitution, people have the right to be represented. So I don’t know if his nomination will be rescued or be able to be brought forward again, I honestly doubt it. But I think people have blown it out of proportion in the sense of this individual and what his role was. But just to remind folks, it wasn’t about reducing the sentence, it wasn’t about getting this person off, it was asking the question about the jury’s instructions regarding the sentencing this gentleman got for the crime he committed. And two judges agreed with the problem that was done in regards to the instructions a Bush appointee and a Reagan appointee so I just don’t think it will come back up.”