On Scooter Libby

Best comment I’ve heard on Scooter Libby
Oh, and you should probably read this. Especially this part:

And Bush couldn’t even thumb his nose at the rule of law competently. In his commutation order, the president said Libby should still get two years probation. The law says that “supervised release,” as it is called, can only follow an actual prison sentence. Now, Judge Walton doesn’t know how to reconcile Bush law with real law.

And this as they make a point I was hoping someone in the mainstream media would make:

The decision to spare Libby also rekindled debate over the federal sentencing guidelines, first enacted in the mid-1980s to ensure that defendants who commit similar crimes receive similar punishment.
Critics of the system, including federal judges, say the rules don’t allow for mitigating circumstances in individual cases and can result in overly harsh punishment.
But the Bush administration and the Justice Department have been tough enforcers of and advocates for the guidelines. And they have frequently been critical of federal judges who give lighter sentences.
That made Bush’s announcement Monday all the more puzzling. The 30-month sentence was within the range of the federal guidelines, and was issued by a judge whom Bush had appointed to the bench.

6 Responses

  1. The law says that “supervised release,” as it is called, can only follow an actual prison sentence.
    I have a distinct feeling that somebody (not you – given the source, I imagine it was the LA Times columnist) has confused probation and parole. Parole is early, supervised release imposed to complete a jail sentence — by definition it can only occur after the convict has been jailed. Probation is a different sort of supervised freedom that is often imposed instead of, or in addition to, a jail sentence. People, especially first-offenders, get sentenced to probation in lieu of jail every day of every week in every jurisdiction in the country.

  2. Libby can still go to prison.
    George’s power is limited to federal cases. State courts can convict Libby.
    Simply convene a state kangaroo court to sentence Libby to death, and gather the firing squad. Bada bing, bada bang, bada boom — it’s all over. Libby gets punished and George shits his pants.
    And Cheney becomes Vice Emperor for Life of Communist China.

  3. George’s power is limited to federal cases. State courts can convict Libby.
    I don’t know where you got that. A president can pardon anyone, even people who have not yet been convicted.
    And Bush couldn’t even thumb his nose at the rule of law competently. In his commutation order, the president said Libby should still get two years probation. The law says that “supervised release,” as it is called, can only follow an actual prison sentence.
    That must be news to Sandy “secrets in my shorts” Berger, who is currently on probation without ever having seen the inside of a jail cell.

  4. Looove the false equivalency, Vatar. VERY well done. Right up to wingnut snuff. Kudos.

  5. Vatar was only pointing out that Sandy Berger was on probation without having served any jail time. I didn’t read anything he wrote that made a felony committed by Libby equivalent to a misdemeanor committed by Berger.
    All that aside, I prefer this point of view.

  6. Vatar is also confused about what “supervised release” is, and therefore supposes it’s the same as “probation”. Supervised release replaced probation at the federal level and can, by law, only be done after a jail sentence. That’s why there’s a question about whether supervised release can be done if the sentence is commuted.
    As for what Vatar said, Oldfart, come on, you haven’t seen this false equivalenbcy game being played before? It always works like that, with innuendo along with something like the snide and phoney “shorts” comment Vatar used. If you don’t learn to recognise wingnut tactics you’re gonna be fooled again and again.

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