Dershowitz on Libby

Alan Dershowitz on the Libby sentence:

The outcry against President Bush’s decision to commute Scooter Libby’s sentence is misplaced. President Bush acted hours after the U.S. Court of Appeals denied Libby bail pending appeal. That judicial decision was entirely political. The appellate judges had to see that Libby’s arguments on appeal were sound and strong — that under existing law he was entitled to bail pending appeal. (That is why I joined several other law professors in filing an amicus brief on this limited issue.) After all, if he were to be sent to jail for a year and then if his conviction were to be reversed on appeal, he could not get the year back. But if he remained out on bail and then lost the appeal, the government would get its year. In non-political cases, bail should have and probably would have been granted on issues of the kind raised by Libby.

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