I respect the jury’s verdict. But 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.
The Constitution gives the President the power of clemency to be used when he deems it to be warranted. It is my judgment that a commutation of the prison term in Mr. Libby’s case is an appropriate exercise of this power.
Is Lady Justice weeping, or doing the wave? Here’s an open thread for comment and debate.
All eyes turn toward President George W. Bush today, as a three-judge panel of the DC Circuit (Sentelle, Henderson, and Tatel) denied Scooter Libby’s request to stay out of an orange jumpsuit while he appeals his conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice.
Today’s decision further increases pressure on President Bush to pardon or commute the sentence of the 56-year-old lawyer who was Cheney’s right-hand man and an architect of the administration’s national security policies. The White House repeatedly has said that Bush is not intervening in the case, at least not yet, but many conservatives have been urging Bush to grant Libby some form of reprieve.
We’re sure it’s occurred to the White House that there’s a major holiday coming up. Whatever Bush decides to do, he should announce it tomorrow around 5:00 pm. That way it’ll be old news by the time Chuck Schumer pops up on Meet the Press this weekend.
Scooter Libby’s stable of legal thoroughbreds failed him. Moments ago Judge Reggie Walton ruled that Libby does not get bail pending appeal. It’s jail time.
Update / clarification: Libby wasn’t taken into custody today. It will take at least six to eight weeks for the Bureau of Prisons to determine where Libby will be imprisoned and to set a reporting date for him to show up to prison. No. Bail. [The BLT: The Blog of the Legal Times] Judge Won’t Delay Libby Prison Term [Associated Press via Washington Post]
And he’s coming out on top, you know you’ve hit rock bottom. From TMZ.com:
We now have quantifiable proof that it’s better to be O.J. Simpson than Paris Hilton. What is wrong with the world?
You can now buy t-shirts that read “L.A. Court Scorecard: O.J. 1, Paris 0″ from the Cafepress.com website. Some might call it ironic that O.J. got away with murder, while Paris is serving time for driving when she wasn’t supposed to.
So what’s the latest news about our favorite celebrity heiress? We’re guessing you’re already familiar with the story about how she “was so terrified guards would snap a cell-phone picture of her on the toilet that she didn’t eat or drink for three days.”
The most recent update comes from the AP:
The parents of Paris Hilton didn’t have to wait long to visit their daughter Tuesday, raising more questions of whether the hotel heiress was receiving special treatment. The Hiltons breezed past some waiting in line for hours to see loved ones….
The visit angered some others who were waiting to see inmates. Shatani Alverson, 23, said she was hustled out of the visiting room at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility moments after her husband walked in because of the Hiltons. She was told to come back after lunch.
Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer made his ruling after a hearing that followed a tumultuous sequence in which Hilton was brought to court in a sheriff’s patrol car. Earlier, it seemed that she would only attend the hearing via telephone.
“The defendant is remanded to L.A. County jail,” Sauer said after an hourlong hearing. “The order is final and forthwith.”
Wearing a beige zippered sweater, Hilton crumpled into tears.
On the subject of Paris Hilton’s recent release from jail, Entertainment Tonight reports:
L.A. County Sheriff Spokesperson STEVE WHITMORE told reporters that due to “medical issues,” the heiress had been “reassigned” at about 2:00 a.m. Thursday and would finish out her sentence on house arrest….
Sources close to the Hilton family tell ET the medical reason was actually a rash she developed on her body.
Mention of a bodily rash provides support for this ATL reader comment:
My friend’s brother (who works with [Sheriff Lee] Baca’s assistant sheriffs) told me that Paris was released due to a severe, “stress-induced” herpes outbreak. He also said that he heard that the blisters had apparently spread to her anus and had taken on abcess-like features that required more serious medical attention. Thus, after taking into account jail overcrowding, the increasing liability that Paris presents, and Paris’s lesions, all things weighed in favor of her being put on home confinement.
Was a case of anal herpes a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for Paris Hilton?
More discussion, after the jump.
Did the jailhouse toiletries fall short of the Hilton family’s high standards? Probably.
But that’s not why Paris Hilton was just granted early release from jail (as first reported by TMZ.com). Due to medical reasons, Hilton will instead serve 40 days of house arrest. She’s being fitted for Martha Stewart’s favorite accessory: an ankle bracelet.
The tabloids have been having a field day with the “Paris Goes to Jail” story. See, e.g., the New York Post front page at right. But it looks like their fun has been cut short.
A press conference by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is now underway. More details to come. Paris Hilton — Free Woman [TMZ.com] Cops: Paris Under House Arrest [TMZ.com] Paris Bawls in Jail [New York Post]
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