HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Just over a year ago, former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds tried to shed past disgrace with a potent campaign slogan: "Redemption."
It didn't work then and now Reynolds, once a rising star in the Democratic Party whose career collapsed when he was convicted of rape two decades ago, is under arrest again, this time for allegedly possessing pornography and violating immigration laws in Zimbabwe.
Reynolds, who had won some prominence in Zimbabwe for helping draw investment to hotel and office projects, was being held in custody and was expected to appear in court soon, immigration official Ario Mabika said Tuesday.
The ex-politician, who lost his seat in Congress almost two decades ago because of the statutory rape conviction, was arrested Monday by police and immigration officials at a Harare hotel, according to the state-controlled newspaper, The Herald. He allegedly brought several Zimbabwean models and other women to his hotel room where he took photographs and videos.
What's the takeaway? More, I think, than merely that executive clemency can be used for the crassest political and even personal reasons. It's that it can be used for people who never stopped being criminals. This is something we need to bear in mind when we hear the (alternately) whining and snarling demand that people should be "given a second chance."
The next question should always be, "A second chance to do what?"