Stupid Juries

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Denis Collins, one of the jurors, addresses the press. He identifies himself as a former reporter. "The primary thing that convinced us on most of the accounts was the alleged conversation with Russert...It was either false (didn't happen) or did happen...Mr. Libby was either told by or told to about Mrs. Wilson at least nine times...we believed he had a bad memory...but contradicted by testimony that he had an incredible grasp of details...even if he forgot who told him, it seemed very unlikely that he would have not remembered about Mrs. Wilson...tremendous amount of sympathy for Mr. Libby on the jury...jury asked "Where's Rove? Where's the other guys?" It seemed like he was the fall guy.

Two things.

First, the question "Where's Rove?" shows the jury had little clue what this case was about, because nothing whatsoever in this case had anything to do with any crime that Rove is alleged by anyone to have done. There is not any evidence whatsoever that Rove or anyone else, besides Libby in his perjury, committed any crime relating to this incident.

It clearly shows that the jurors were out to get someone, rather than to be impartial and fair. Who was it that filed charges, and who said that these were the only charges to be filed? It wasn't Rove. It was Fitzgerald. What really happened is that he spent years building a case and at the end found no crime had been committed that he could bring a case about. The only sense in which Libby might be considered a "fall guy" is that Fitzgerald had to make someone pay for his total failure to come up with an indictment in the original incident.

Second, the statement "we believed he had a bad memory" with "even if he forgot who told him, it seemed very unlikely that he would have not remembered about Mrs. Wilson" shows the jury either did not understand, or did not care about, the evidentiary threshold of criminal trials, which is "beyond reasonable doubt." His words there pretty clearly show that he is not sure whether Libby remembered it, but he found it "very unlikely" that he did not. That is sufficient for a civil trial, but not a criminal trial.

So much for justice.

Not that I am going to shed tears here. Chances are, Libby probably did lie. But justice demands that the charge is proven beyond reasonable doubt, and this one was not. There's plenty of reasonable doubt here. He says he simply forgot, and there's no evidence to show he didn't. If that's not reasonable doubt, then the phrase has lost all meaning.

So now people wonder whether Libby will be pardoned. Maybe, because an obvious miscarriage of justice was done here, and pardons are appropriate for that sort of thing. But most interesting in that question is that Libby was Marc Rich's lawyer, and played a role in Rich's pardon, which was the most infamous of Clinton's presidency. If Libby is pardoned by Bush, it won't be nearly as egregious as Clinton's pardoning of Rich, but it will be painted as such nontheless.

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on March 6, 2007 2:27 PM.

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