Prisoner’s Dilemma back in the news….

Stephanie Grace and James Gill tacked the topic of the 7 year sentence given Rene Gill Pratt for her role in the Jefferson clan scheme to loot out bogus charities funded in part by state/federal earmarks.   We saw the outrage at the sentencing disparity between Betty Jefferson and Rene Gill Pratt on these pages late last week as the topic is framed that Gill Pratt got a stiff sentence because she elected to go to trial and fight the charges while Betty Jefferson essentially received a free pass.  My own opinion is I do not accept that argument to frame this issue.

Way back on these pages I revealed I was a student of low-level game theory and certain related branches of mathematics.  Game Theory 101 includes the concept of prisoner’s dilemma, a topic that has appeared several times on these pages. The bottom line is that the person in legal trouble who cuts the first deal gets the best deal and those that do not roll over end up steamrolled if guilty.  For example, in the continuing criminal investigation involving shit house double-dealing in the Nagin Administration, Greg Meffert wisely chose to cut a deal and will no doubt get a much lesser sentence than the one given Mark St Pierre. St Pierre thought he could con his way out to the bitter end and the results were very bad for him.  Was the sentence a punishment for electing to fight until the bitter end or is it the well deserved fruits of his illegal activity, proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law?  I gravitate to the latter point of view personally.

None of this means that Betty Jefferson isn’t a piece of walking excrement Continue reading “Prisoner’s Dilemma back in the news….”

Rotten to the core: A few stories I am following today.

Folks each of these news stories deserve their own post and in time most will be featured but for now here are some links that interested me this morning. Please feel free to add your own in comments that fit the theme: ~ sop

Change some of the names and you got Jefferson Parish…..

You know folks maybe I was being a bit hard on Mike Fawer for bringing the Renee Gill Pratt portion of the Dollar Bill Jefferson saga to trial.  Make no mistake, Fawer abrasive style will insure Gill Pratt gets the book thrown at her but the testimony this past week gives the public another good peek into the way business is conducted in the NOLA metro area thus the title of this post.

For our many readers that are not in this area who are hooked on our Jefferson Parish coverage we’ll start with a must read in the Times Picayune story Gill Pratt racketeering trial offers glimpse into inner workings of a political machine. The unbridled greed is breathtaking and provides probably the best reason for banning earmarks since it appears most of it is looted out by cronies of corrupt politicians who are incapable of making an honest living.

Next up is T-P columnist Stephanie Grace who wrote a column on the testimony of two DaimlerChrysler execs in Gill Pratt’s trial last week. This is also a must read as Grace describes the impact of these prosecution witnesses on the Judge and jury: Continue reading “Change some of the names and you got Jefferson Parish…..”