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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bush is soft on crime

I've been interested in Scooter Libby's role in "Plamegate" since 2003. Ultimately, Libby was convicted of perjury, not leaking classified information, and sentenced to 30 months in jail, a $250,000 fine and 2 years probation.

Today, an appeals court ruled that Libby would have to start serving his jail time. Then, hours later, President Bush commuted that part of his sentence:
I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.

My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.
Given that Libby supporters have contributed $3 million to his legal defense, it seems hard to believe that a $250,000 fine is all that onerous.

My guess is that he'll get that back in a book advance and speaking fees.

Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, by the way, was not pleased::
“In this case an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws,” Mr. Fitzgerald said in a statement. “It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals.”
The President seemingly agrees, as he declared on 6-6-06:
As Americans, we revere freedom and equality, the rights and dignity of every individual, and the supremacy of the rule of law.
Ah, hypocrisy.

Happy fourth of July everyone.

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