Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chuck Colson

Charles (Chuck) Wendell Colson (born October 16, 1931, in Boston, Massachusetts) was the chief counsel for President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973 and while he was commonly named as one of the Watergate Seven, he was never charged with, or prosecuted, for any crime related to the Watergate break-in or its cover-up. After extensively investigating Colson's activities relating to Watergate, Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski attempted to make a deal with Colson in which Colson would agree to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge relating to Watergate, in exchange for which Jaworski agreed to recommend that he not be sentenced to prison. Colson felt doing so would be pleading guilty to a crime he did not commit. Instead, Colson counter-offered. Colson told Jaworski that he would agree to plead guilty to the crime of obstruction of justice, not in relation to Watergate, but in relation to the planning of the break-in at the office of Daniel Elsberg's psychiatrist. This was a crime of which Jaworski had no knowledge. Colson insisted also that Jaworski would not be constrained to recommend no prison time. At the sentencing, Judge Sirica sentenced Colson to the maximum prison term permitted under federal law.

Colson's later life has been spent working with his non-profit organization devoted to prison ministry called Prison Fellowship. Colson is also a public speaker and author. He is founder and chairman of the Wilberforce Forum, which is the "Christian worldview thinking, teaching, and advocacy arm of" Prison Fellowship, and includes Colson's daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint, now heard on a thousand outlets. The ministry conducts justice reform efforts through Justice Fellowship.


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