Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Equal Justice*

* Offer not valid for Friends of Dick.

It’s really nice of President Bush to decide that the laws governing sentencing that were used in the Scooter Libby case were excessive. I’ve been thinking that the “hang ‘em high” crowd with their “three strikes and you’re out” and “no appeals for death row convicts” and other punitive measures really just want to apply the hammer of the law to people they don’t like. People they can look down on.

Isn’t it odd that when it comes to their friends, and the friends of their friends, suddenly the “sentence was too harsh”? Digby digs into the memory hole to remind us that just a couple of weeks ago, President Bush was calling for mandatory minimum sentences:

Bush Seeks To Re-Impose Mandatory Minimums

Crime Bill Would Limit Judges' Sentencing Power; Critics Call It "One Size Fits All Justice"

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2007
(AP) The Bush administration is trying to roll back a Supreme Court decision by pushing legislation that would require prison time for nearly all criminals.

The Justice Department is offering the plan as an opening salvo in a larger debate about whether sentences for crack cocaine are unfairly harsh and racially discriminatory.

Republicans are seizing the administration's crackdown, packaged in legislation to combat violent crime, as a campaign issue for 2008.

In a speech June 1 to announce the bill, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales urged Congress to re-impose mandatory minimum prison sentences against federal convicts — and not let judges consider such penalties “merely a suggestion.”

Minimum sentences for Federal criminals? Except for Scooter Libby? I thought justice wore a blindfold. Oh, wait -- IOKIYAR.

I’d like to see the Republicans try to run on this “crackdown on crime” issue when they’re supporting the President’s cowardly actions. Good luck with that.