Apparently, in medieval times, burying people before they were truly dead was a known problem. That’s why, a pre-burial system was developed and was known as “being saved by the bell“.
At the time of burial, a string was tied to the “dead” person’s hand, and then the other end of the string was tied to a bell and then tied to a nearby tree branch. On occasion, someone who was only unconscious who then revive, would obviously ring the bell in a panic; and their family would rush out and dig them up. Truly…… “saved by the bell”.
A recent political donation prosecution can fall under that kind of category. Two executives had been charged in an alleged scheme of recruiting political donors for Hilary Clinton’s 2006 and 2008 Senate campaigns.
On February 16, 2011, a grand jury that was convened in an Alexandria courtroom, charged the executives with illegally soliciting campaign contributions and then reimbursing those donors for the money that they had given to the campaign. It was an illegal way around the campaign donation federal limits.
In 2010, the US Supreme Court ruled in Citizen United v. FEC that corporations should be treated as individuals. Now, in the eyes of the law, corporations are entitled to equal political speech and are able to contribute politically, like an individual.
As a result of that Court holding, the Judge in the potential criminal case against these two executives, dismissed the charges against them. In interpreting that Supreme Court case from last year, the Judge held that it created a loophole and that the charges were really now considered a corporation donation.
It didn’t matter that those donors were reimbursed by those two executives because, it could legally come from the corporation anyway. With that recent case, these executives were basically saved by that legal bell. (US v. Danielczyk May 26, 2011)