Tuesday, June 5, 2007
"Scooter" to Serve 30 Months
Former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby is back in the spotlight after being sentenced to 30 months in prison for lying and obstructing the investigation of a CIA leak.
Libby’s case is particularly interesting because his apologia was handled largely by third-party participants. For instance, one of his attorneys, William Jeffress, is offering a denial defense by stating that the obstruction charge hasn’t been proven. "No one was ever charged. Nobody ever pleaded guilty," Jeffress said. "The government did not establish the existence of an offense."
In addition, another one of Libby’s defense attorneys, Theodore Wells, offered a bolstering strategy by asking the judge to consider Libby's career service to the country. A number of prominent figures have also added to this strategy, including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who said: "My hope and prayer is that his outstanding record, his many contributions to our country and his value as a citizen, will be considered carefully."
As for Libby’s direct contribution to his apologia strategy, he offered only brief remarks that hinted at the bolstering strategy already established. “It is respectfully my hope that the court will consider, along with the jury verdict, my whole life,” said Libby.
Based on the sentencing given by the judge, the apologia strategies offered by the third parties failed to diminish the offensive of Libby’s actions enough to escape jail time.
According to Hugh Keefe, a Connecticut defense attorney who teaches trial advocacy at Yale University, that’s not surprising. “The only thing any sentencing judge wants to hear is remorse, and if they don't think it comes from the heart or they think they're only sorry for getting caught, for losing their job, or for going to jail, it doesn't count,” said Keefe.