People are going to be having fun with the convoluted logic of this step by President Bush right up until he is facing judgment himself.
In commuting Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr.’s 30-month prison sentence on Monday, President Bush drew on the same arguments about the federal sentencing system often made by defense lawyers — and routinely and strenuously opposed by his own Justice Department.
Critics of the federal sentencing system have a long list of complaints. Sentences, they say, are too harsh. Judges are allowed to take account of facts not proven to the jury. The defendant’s positive contributions are ignored, as is the collateral damage that imprisonment causes the families involved.
On Monday, Bush made use of every element of that critique in a detailed statement setting out his reasons for commuting Libby’s sentence — handing an unexpected gift to defense lawyers around the country, who scrambled to make use of the president’s arguments in their own cases.
Given the administration’s tough stand on sentencing, the president’s arguments left experts in sentencing law scratching their heads.
“The Bush administration, in some sense following the leads of three previous administrations, has repeatedly supported a federal sentencing system that is distinctly disrespectful of the very arguments that Bush has put forward in cutting Libby a break,” said Douglas A. Berman, a law professor at Ohio State University who writes the blog “Sentencing Law and Policy.”
So the President who has never met a death sentence he didn’t like felt the sentence of his friend was too harsh. Now the conservative chattering class feels he didn’t go far enough because of the lose of status to Libby if his appeal fails…Come on guys, Scooter will never have to work again. Someone out there in the Bush Leagues will make sure he is taken care of for life. They always do…
Source: Libby commutation confounds experts | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle