Friday, February 11, 2005

Going From Jail to Mars, and Beyond, "The Bush" gives NASA job to Felon

The second Bush administration has been much kinder to Thomas P. Jasin than the first. In this administration, he's just been named director of NASA's Robotic Lunar Exploration Program, preparing the way for future manned missions.
In the first, he found himself doing a stretch in the federal slammer after being found guilty of conspiring to evade the international arms embargo against South Africa in a deal involving Stryker anti-tank missiles.
He spent about 18 months in a federal prison camp in Schuylkill County, about 2 1/2 hours from Philadelphia. He got out a couple of years ago after the trial judge overturned the conviction. The judge concluded that Jasin's lawyer didn't adequately investigate important witnesses and provided ineffective counsel.
Jasin had been vice president and then president in the 1980s of a Lancaster, Pa., technology company when he was working on the Stryker deal. He was convicted in 1992 but remained free pending appeal for nearly eight years -- longer, prosecutors said, than any convicted felon in memory who didn't flee. Link

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