Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Libby Evades Trial! 

Via our distinguished colleague Pachacutec at Firedoglake: Credit Scooter Libby's lawyers with a procedural masterstroke. Today they argued successfully before U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton that they would be unable to empanel a full jury, with alternates, unless they could find 36 Americans who trust Dick Cheney.

UPDATE (1/19, via our august colleague David Kurtz of TPM): David Shuster breaks down the voir dire process:
Among [the potential jurors] under consideration in round two, many of them delivered some memorable lines and quotes during their time on the witness stand. A retired math teacher originally from North Carolina was asked about Vice President Cheney and said, “I’m not sure I would like to go out bird hunting with him.” A statistician called Cheney “careless about the Iraq war” and then elaborated by saying,” I think he (Cheney) was taking a big stretch to make some of the statements he made about the war. That’s why I said it was careless.” A Lockheed-Martin executive is in the jury pool and noted that she is “currently chasing about a BILLION dollars in potential business.” This was followed by the revelation that people who “miss work” are paid by the court $35 per day. A woman whose son was arrested on drug charges and served time in prison noted that her son was sentenced by Judge Walton himself. The judge asked if the woman had any bad feelings about him or the court. The woman replied, “Not at all, it was my son’s fault.”

One woman who is no longer in the jury pool said she knew about the CIA leak case and revealed she had firm beliefs about the vice president. Asked what those beliefs are, she said, “I believe that the vice president had the defendant leak Ms. Plame’s name.” Asked by the judge if the woman has a firm view about Mr. Libby...she blurted out, “guilty.” The judge furrowed his brow and said, “Okay ma’am, you are dismissed.”

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