Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Bush Subverts the Rule of Law

"I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said in a statement. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison."

Bush commuted Libby's sentence of 2 1/2 years five hours after after a federal appeals panel ruled that Libby could not delay his prison term. Bush said the prison term was too harsh. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald disputed the president's assertion that the prison term was excessive. Libby was sentenced under the same laws as other criminals, Fitzgerald said. "It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals," the prosecutor said.

This is an outrage. Libby was convicted of a crime of lying to investigators and obstructing justice in the outing of a covert CIA agent. It is also the way in which this impeachable President did the deed. First, he commutes the sentence out of trying to gain some political cover. He agrees with the justice system, just not with the harshness of the sentence. It is a joke, and there is no other word to describe this process and this administration. Additionally, Rawstory has this: For the first time in his presidency, Bush made a decision to commute a sentence without going through a process of running requests through lawyers at the Justice Department," the Post alleged. "He also did not ask the chief prosecutor in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, for his input, as routinely happens in cases routed through the Justice Department's pardon attorney."

Patrick Fitzgerald's full statement on the crime can be viewed at Think Progress. But, a great quote in the statement says: The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencing which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

For more reaction to the Libby commutation go to truthout.

1 comment:

Daddydan said...

Kid Radical,

The title of this post should finish with "again." Bush and his dictatorial vice have subverted the rule of law various times, and various types of law: international, criminal, constitutional. They continue to get away with it. Bush has the audacity to call the ruling "excessive" while he executed how many prisoners in Texas? What a joke. what a sad state of affairs is our federal government.