Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Online press is reporting that I "Scooter" Libby was sentenced today to 2 1/2 years in prison. (e.g., Boston.com; WSJ, CNN, NYTimes) He was convicted of perjury, false statements, and obstruction of justice. The government asked for 30-37 months, with the defense asking for no jail time. This sends a strong message of deterrence that crimes with national security implications will not be tolerated. J. Patrick Fitzgerald wins yet another round of this trial in obtaining a sentence in the range that he requested. This is particularly significant in that according to the Washington Post, the probation department asked for approximately one half of the sentence issued by the court. (see here)
The WSJ notes that the court did not rule on whether Libby would remain free pending appeal. Many assume that this will be automatic, as it tends to be in many white collar cases. But this is not always the case. Former Mayor Bill Campbell of Atlanta was ordered directly to prison and not allowed to remain free pending his appeal.(see here)
But it is also important to remember that this case is not over yet. There are several appellate issues that Libby is likely to raise in the next round. The inadmissibility of evidence that he wished to present will most likely be at the core of these arguments. (see WSJ here).