Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Just Us Revisited

The jury convicted I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on four of the five counts in the indictment: one count of obstruction of justice; two counts of perjury; and one count of making false statements to federal investigators. Libby is "the highest-ranking White House official convicted in a federal-level government scandal since National Security Advisor John Poindexter in the Iran-Contra affair" in 1990.

The presiding trial judge, Reggie B. Walton, sentenced Libby to 30 months in federal prison, a fine of $250,000, and two years of supervised release, including 400 hours of community service, and then ordered Libby to begin his sentence immediately. When Libby's appeal of Judge Walton's order failed, President Bush commuted Libby's 30-month prison sentence calling it "excessive," leaving the other parts of his sentence intact.

President Bush is still considering a full-on pardon of Libby.


In 2002, Martha Stewart was accused of insider trading and other crimes relating to statements that she made to investigators. Stewart went to trial and was convicted in March 2004 on four counts of lying to investigators and obstruction of justice. She was sentenced to prison, fined, and barred from serving on a public company Board of Directors and from serving in certain executive capacities for five years.

She served in Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia from October 2004 to March 4, 2005, after which she was placed under supervised release and required to wear an ankle bracelet for an additional 5 months.

Martha Stewart was convicted of the same two crimes. Both are high-profile and wealthy people. Martha served time; "Scooter" didn't because the president said he didn't have to do so.


A Georgia judge ordered the release Monday of a man sentenced to 10 years in prison for consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17, a sentence that had been widely criticized as grossly disproportionate to the crime. A jury had found Genarlow Wilson, an honor student, guilty in 2005 of aggravated child molestation for having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl. Although the sex act was consensual, it was illegal under Georgia law.

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