Monday, July 02, 2007

The Two Americas Penal System

Bush commutes Libby prison sentence

You knew it was coming. Now it's here. But, as Bush says, it still "leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby." He must pay $250K and is on probation. Whoa! Ouch. Crime doesn't pay! But this isn't an official pardon, so Bush is able to skirt rhetorically the good-old-boys pardon issue.

And, on the other hand,
A federal judge increased the possible sentence for former Gov. Don Siegelman from more than 10 years to more than 15 years Thursday, saying he believes Siegelman's actions damaged the public's confidence in state government.
UPDATE (3 July):

And how painful will that $250K be to Libby? His legal defense fund already has $5 million. Well, he might have to provide return services. And he'll have to do it on probation (which means no crack for a while)!

Plus, Josh Marshall:
The deeper offense is that the president has used his pardon power to shortcircuit the investigation of a crime to which he himself was quite likely a party, and to which, his vice president, who controls him, certainly was.

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