Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Defense rests... the trial of Lewis I. "Scooter" Libby, and plenty of questions remain unanswered.

Or unasked. Like the questions that Special Council Patrick Fitzgerald might have asked Scooter if he had the guts to take the stand in his own defense. We all know that the last thing a good lawyer wants to see is a guilty defendent take the stand. And Theodore V. Wells is a pretty good lawyer.

Or questions that Fitz might have asked Dick Cheney, who you think would take the stand to defend his personal friend and advisor if he thought he was innocent.

But those questions remain unasked.

I'm sure Patrick Fitzgerald was chomping at the bit for a chance to cross-examine Scooter and "the Shooter", but alas, it won't happen. The jury will hear closing arguments starting on Tuesday, and then they'll get the case probably later next week.

Judge Walton was clearly annoyed by the defense's decision to keep Libby from testifying, and he refused to allow Wells to reexamine TV journalist Tim Russert in an effort to further confuse the jury.

A strange thing happened when the jury came into the courtroom today. Here's an email from MSNBC's David Shuster via Fire Dog Lake. This is just an example of the wonderful observations and reportage that FDL has been providing during this entire complex legal process. I strongly recommend visiting FDL for ongoing coverage of this important trial:
When the jurors came in 45 minutes ago for the final evidence presented in this case, 13 of the 14 jurors (12 jurors and 2 alternates) were wearing bright red t-shirts with a large white heart on the front. The shirts appeared to be new… The one juror not wearing a red shirt was an elderly woman who works as an art curator. A man on the jury, who is a retired school teacher originally from north carolina, then read a statement to the court. The man said the jury wanted to "thank the clerks, marshalls, and judge for all of the accomodations made" for the jury during this trial. The juror then said the entire jury understands their responsibilities in this case and that their "unanimity may now go no further." "But on behalf of the jury," said this man, "we want to wish everybody a Happy Valentine's day."

To say this moment was awkward would be an understatement. All of the attorneys, and the judge, appeared on the edge of their seats. At the conclusion of the juror's statement, the attorneys nervously and politely clapped…and the judge sheepishly thanked the panel for being "a very attentive jury." Then, the judge moved on…

What does it mean that one juror, who seemed particularly cantankerous during jury selection, refused to go along with the rest and wear the bright red t-shirt? Could it be that she is the only one on the panel with any sartorial taste? Or does it mean something more serious for jury deliberations next week? The issue was noted by attorneys on both sides of the case outside in the hallway.


Connecticut Man 1 said...

I am also interested in the fact that Walton was pissed about the defense misleading him into believing that Libby would testify. (Walton disallowed some CIA witnesses after PREVIOUSLY allowing them supposedly based on Libby's expected testimony.)

If you were a judge, wouldn't you be a bit pissed about that fact when it came time to sentence a criminal?

Anonymous said...

No. If I was at the point of sentencing, then the criminal has been found guilty. Therefore, some tactic of the defense that I disapproved of matters no more.

CT Bob said...

Yeah, I would hope the judge gauges the sentence based on Libby's guilt rather than his attorney's annoying tactics.

But if I was Libby and was found guilty, I'd still be a little nervous about the sentencing. Judges are human for the most part, and they can just as easily hold a grudge and act punitively against their defendents if they wanted to.

Fuzzy Turtle said...

maybe in keeping with Valentines' day the jury will demand libby be beheaded, a la St Valentine.

one could only hope.

let the punishment fit the crime as the song goes.

and in defense of the non-red wearer... I disappear when I wear colors like that, I'm too friggin' pale. I don't even think I own a red piece of clothing.