Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Libby Trial Jury Selection: Day One Recap of Libby's Dilemma

Libby has a war problem, and though this case is narrowly about felony charges of obstruction of justice and perjury, wherein the case for war in Iraq provides only the setting, the unavoidable drama and context of this case is the case made for war in Iraq and the credibility of this administration, and in particular, the Office of the Vice President.

The national polls are what they are. The president is wildly unpopular and growing more so with his every subsequent utterance; Dick Cheney is even less popular than President Bush. The public overwhelmingly is rejecting the administration's policies and reluctantly coming to the conclusion that, at best, the administration innocently provided bad information to the country, but is intransigent in the face of developing reality. And through all this, to attempt to get a fair trial, Team Libby must scratch to find jurors without strong opinions or preconceptions on these matters, in Washington, DC, of all places (more than one potential juror, when asked if they had heard or read of any controversy alleging the administration had provided the country with bad information in making its case for war, replied, "In this town? Are you kidding?").

The Libby team's jury selection strategy seems rather clear: if they can find at least one, and preferably two, people who are among that 12% of the population in support of the administration's "surge" strategy to escalate the war in the Middle East, that would be golden. Two such people, or at least one, could possibly hold out against what otherwise might be a consensus to convict, possibly even nullifying the jury, if it came to that. Generally, the demographics that hurt the administration hurt the defense team: women (especially single women), minorities, working people or union members, liberal professionals, etc. The problem for team Libby is, their best jurors live in Salt Lake City, not Washington, DC.
Pachacutec:The Huffington Post

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