Friday, June 8, 2007

Did the Prosecutor Have Jurisdiction in the Libby Case

With a 2 1/2 year sentence issued to I. "Scooter" Libby, it is not surprising to see people examining every aspect of this case. According to the New York Sun here, a group of "scholars," that includes Professors Alan Dershowitz (Harvard), Randy Barnett (Georgetown) and others, have filed an amicus brief challenging the prosecutor's jurisdiction to hear this case. Although it seems that their brief is not directed to the bail issue, it could significantly affect this decision.  If the defense can demonstrate a significant issue for appeal, a court is more likely to grant bail pending the appellate process.  Even if Judge Walton should deny bail, this issue and the expertise of this group of "scholars" could significantly influence an appellate tribunal in providing an order to release the defendant pending the appeal.


Howard Bashman at How Appealing has a copy of the order here allowing them to file the brief.  Check out the footnote.

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» A fascinating footnote in a routine order from Unused and Probably Unusable
Judge Walton allowed 12 law prawfs to submit a brief. Routine, even in a high-profile case like the one against convicted felon Scooter Libby? (His conviction isn't final yet, and the question of bail remains unresolved, despite the sentence of 30 mo... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 10, 2007 4:04:45 AM


Wow. Fantastic order - thanks for pointing out the footnote.

For my own reference, I'm typing out the text of it below. Thanks, to Howard for hosting it online, Ellen for pointing it out, and USDJ Reggie B. Walton for writing it.

1 It is an impressive show of public service when twelve prominent and distinguished current and former law professors of well-respected schools are able to amass their collective wisdom in the course of only several days to provide their legal expertise to the Court on behalf of a criminal defendant. The Court trusts that this is a reflection of these eminent academics' willingness in the future to step to the plate and provide like assistance in cases involving any of the numerous litigants, both in the Court and throughout the courts of our nation, who lack the financial means to fully and properly articulate the merits of their legal positions even in instances where failure to do so could result in monetary penalties, incarceration, or worse. The Court will certainly not hesitate to call for such assistance from these luminaries, as necessary in the interests of justice and equity, whenever similar questions arise in the cases that come before it.

Posted by: Eh Nonymous | Jun 10, 2007 3:57:25 AM

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