Monday, June 11, 2007

Scooter Libby: The Witches in Salem Got a Fairer Trial

Either the concept of "special prosecutor" needs to be done away with once and for all, or we need to agree that in cases where one is appointed trials should be separated from investigations in terms of both personnel and geography.

The Libby case reflects poorly on both the inquisitor and the judge and has resulted in a true and literal miscarriage of justice. The prosecutor investigated until he had helped generate a crime where none was before. The judge excluded witnesses and evidence until the "crime" reached a mass where a DC jury could legitimately seem to find it. (Remember: the jury didn't learn that no crime had been committed, didn't learn that Plame's employment was not covered by IIPA, didn't learn Plame's role was "widely known" in DC, and wasn't allowed to hear from experts how frail memories can be.)

In the future, if especially prosecute we must, let's at least separate the roles between investigator and trier. Let's add an extra, independent review by someone who's not invested in the need to find some crime to justify the years and dollars spent.

Then, let's move the trials out of Washington, D.C., where it seems that everything is, as Andrea Mitchell famously said, "widely known." The evidence has become persuasive that Judge Walton "knew" before any hearings that Libby was guilty of horrendous crimes that Prosecutor Fitzgerald could not prove. Coupled with Judge Walton's pervasive, and thanks to this story, now apparent sense of class bias, it was enough to tilt the table so radically as to deprive Libby of a fair trial.

The appellate court will overturn the verdict.

Perhaps those judges will go the distance and reprimand the Judge Walton and the Department of Justice for the numerous abuses the Libby case so clearly illustrates.

Related Links: Scooter Libby: A Funny Thing Happened on His Way to Jail

UPDATE: John Hinderaker over at Power Line has figured a way to intelligently link two disparate stories:

Scott Rasmussen's latest survey has Harry Reid in a dead heat with Scooter Libby, each with a 19% approval rating. And Reid hasn't even been convicted of anything yet!

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