Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pardon or commute

Here's the Register's reaction to the 30-month jail sentence for Scooter Libby. Although I can see some difference-- you can make a case that it's more important for high government officials to tell the truth to investigators -- this looks to me like a rerun of the Martha Stewart situation. Somebody under suspicion by a zealous prosecutor for lying about a non-crime -- or at least an act that was never prosecuted as a crime -- who ends up prosecuted for perhjury. An abuse of prosecutorial discretion, in my view.

The Register called for a pardon. I ran into a law professor later who made a case that the president should commute the sentence so Libby serves no jail time. rather than issuing a pardon. I was pretty close to convinced. What do you think?


daveg said...

Libby lied under oath - three times.

Martha Stewart lied to a federal investigator, a process for which you don't take an oath and for which it may not be as clear that to tell a lie is a crime.

I will also say that Libby's position in government and the responsibility he has therein makes his lies infinitely more troublesome. This is borne out by the consequences of the war hr is significantly responsible for getting us into, also using many many lies.

Alan Bock said...

Valid comments. I still think 30 months was excessive.

Qnunc said...

What makes me sick is that these people's (Libby, Stewart) main (or only) crime is that they "lied to the Feds." How many times have I heard that? Exactly one million.

Yet the gubmint, from the president down to the lowliest bullying bureaucrat, lies to the American people every time they open their nasty mouths. They are never held accountable. Even though Libby himself is a bureaucrat, he was just doing what comes natural to all of them.

Every now and then, they have to jail someone for lying to them to keep the Great Unwashed in line and to show us who's the boss.

This seems esp. true for "tax evaders" for "lying to the IRS" who are given long sentences for no other reason than to be an example to the rest of us.

Pardon them all!

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