Monday, July 2, 2007

libby's sentence was not excessive. full-stop.

today, the president claimed
that mr. libby's punishment did not
fit the crime. that simply is
not borne out by any reliable

so, in this post -- to be updated
from time to time -- i will set forth
cases that are similar to, or less
than i. lewis libby's, and
list the sentences imposed. in each
case, i will link the decision, so that
readers may judge for themselves whether
the conduct is similar, or less egregious.

that said -- this will be an iterative work.

feel free to cite additional cases in the
comments. i will add them, if a link is pro-
vided. [and maybe, even if one isn't. (!)]

UPDATED july 3, 2007

courtesy of talkingpointsmemo, we
learn of an aging war vet, with 25 years
of honorable military service, with failing
health -- and he is a law enforcement worker
to boot! -- sentenced to 33 months
for two (not four!) counts of felony perjury
before a grand jury, investigating a gun
company case -- rita v. u.s. -- the
opinion was published june 21, 2007:
. . .The basic crime in this case concerns two false statements which Victor Rita, the petitioner, made under oath to a federal grand jury. The jury was investigating a gun company called InterOrdnance. . .

-- justice breyer's plurality opinion,
in rita v. u.s., 551 u.s. ___ (2007)

and, from usa today reporting:

. . .The justices upheld a 33-month sentence given to Victor Rita for perjury and making false statements. Rita is a 25-year military veteran and former civilian federal employee. . . The prison term falls within the guidelines range and was upheld by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, answering the question of whether sentences within the guidelines ordinarily will be considered reasonable. . .

mr. libby's sentence was at the low end of the guidelines.

so -- where are we on the commutation of
the sentence of VICTOR A. RITA, mr. president?


first next up: less egregious -- u.s. v. valnor

june 6, 2006

defendant pled guilty to [and accepted responsibility for] felony conspiracy to produce identification documents without lawful authority, with national security implications -- 28 months.

next up: less egregious -- bevilacqua v. u.s.

may 18, 2006

lawyer-as-defendant signed plea agreement [accepted responsibility, unlike mr. libby] on one federal perjury charge [as opposed to convictions on four of five counts involving national security], during special counsel's investigation of a corrupt mayoral administration -- no charge of, or plea on, obstruction -- defendant leaked a video-tape containing evidence of allegedly criminal activities to press -- 18 months jail time; $150,000.

next up: similar case -- u.s. v. roche

february 27, 2003

defendant pled guilty to one count of federal felony obstruction of justice -- 33 months [mr. libby did not accept responsibility under any plea agreement; committed three additional counts of felony perjury].

next up: similar case -- u.s. v. leja

may 23, 2006

defendant guilty of various financial (health-care-related) reimbursement crimes; including felony obstruction of justice -- 30 months.

next up:less egregious -- soliz v. texas

january 29, 2003

misdemeanor (not felony) perjury -- in a small-claims matter -- a civil (not criminal) case -- one year of jail-time. in texas. [yes, the state where bush refused, as govenor, to pardon a
woman on death-row.]


Uppity Gal said...

FABULOUS! I love it when case law is cited!
GREAT blog. I don't always get time to come around and comment, but I do read/lurk a lot, and send the link out to thinking folk I know.

Just wanted to say thanks, it does get read, and I appreciate your work.

WHAT a damn day...SIGH.

well- tomorrow's another day to fight these evil bastards. My congress critters are soooo getting some visits from me this week (and call, and emails, etc)

Uppity Gal said...

P.S.- speaking of the LAW (dying a slow hideous death as we speak/breathe) ...
what are your thoughts on Fitz's ability to go further with this?

are we stuck with Congress doing something?


Interested in your thoughts on legal pursuit, other possibilities going forward from today.

ok, thanks

nolo said...

i would love to think that
patrick fitzgerlad could
find a means to re-open his
investigation, but i think
the odds of that are remote.

i think for that to happen, some-
one in a very high place -- cheney
or bush -- would have to implicate
themeselves in a deal to obstruct
justice and/or subborn perjury
from scooter libby. that just is
not going to happen.

so -- yes, uppity, i do think that
congressional hearings are about
all that's left. but do not under-
estimate them. i think sen. leahy
may be willing to subpoena cheney
for a PERSONAL appearance to answer
whether there was a secret deal --
and if i were leahy, i'd use the
white house june 5, 2007 press
release (by the vice-presdient)
the spring-board for the questions.

thanks for all the encouragement.

it is gratifying to know someone
is reading this junk i make up. . .

p e a c e

Anonymous said...

IANAL but I read your posts because you are one.
have written to Leahy that he shld start with Cheney.

nolo said...

thanks, and good on ya',
anon -- i now think we have
the definitive supreme court
case that puts the lie to
bush's claim
of an execessive
sentence. rita v. u.s.,
551 u.s. ___ (2007).

cheers -- and go get 'em!
[see my update on this, above.]