Saturday, May 26, 2007

God Is Not Mocked

Jane Hamsher has the extraordinary plea from Irv Libby's mouthpieces for the court to withhold from public disclosure the sentencing letters concerning his criminal client. Sayeth the shysters:

Given the extraordinary media scrutiny here, if any case presents the real possibility that these letters, once released, would be printed on the internet and their authors discussed, if not mocked, by bloggers, it is this case.

Talk about fairweather friends. These heroes support Libby only to the extent their support won't make them the target of ridicule by dorks with computers.

Here's a thought for Libby's cowardly liars: Mocking doesn't mean anything. People can mock me all they want, however they want. It only stings when it's true.

On the legal issue, it's astounding that a court sentencing a convicted criminal would -- or could -- give any weight to matters contained in documents not disclosed to the public. In (presumably) unsworn letters, which could contain all manner of falsehoods, purchased accolades, etc. not subject to cross-examination. In the normal criminal trial, where the defendant doesn't have a lot of friends and co-conspirators in high places, consideration of such extraenous material would work against the defendant in many cases, since the unsworn opinion would come from the alleged victim and/or the alleged victim's friends, neighbors and victim's rights advocates.

In this case, however, Libby thinks that anyone, including persons with undisclosed knowledge of Libby's crimes and those who would indirectly benefit from a light sentence (persons Scooter might rat out in the third year of his sentence, when they're no longer in power, for example), should be allowed to vouch for him without any procedure, in court or out of court, to test the worth of their claims. If there's anything to that's contrary to the traditions of Anglo-American law (post-trial-by-dunking and pre-Patriot Act), it's that. And if Libby doesn't want the letters made public, Judge Walton should recycle them as courthouse bog roll without even opening them.

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