Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Larry Craig Hearing Today

The Curmudgeon's favorite Senator--Larry "Wide Stance" Craig--has his hearing today on whether he should be able to withdraw his guilty plea for his men's room exploits in the Minneapolis airport.

Craig says he's been "advised not to" attend the hearing. Evidently, his lawyers fear someone might just be tempted to put the Senator on the stand and cross-examine him, which is exactly what should happen.

In any event, we always love the desperate creativity of lawyers in cases like this one. Craig's lawyers have argued that because the Senator mailed in his guilty plea (the same way you do for a routine traffic offense), he did not have the benefit of a judge explaining the exact consequences of the plea before accepting it. (See CNN story here.)

That's a particularly stupid argument--and the lawyers know it, but have no shame. First, since millions of guilty pleas to misdemeanors are mailed in across the country every year, ruling in Craig's favor on that basis would mean that ANY citizen could invalidate a mailed guilty plea on the same ground. Second, WHO IN THE WORLD WOULD ELECT AS THEIR SENATOR AN IMBECILE WHO CLAIMS THAT HE DIDN'T KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES OF PLEADING GUILTY ABSENT A JUDGE PATIENTLY EXPLAINING IT TO HIM? Honestly, Craig just looks sillier and sillier in this.

The judge shouldn't let Craig withdraw his plea, but we wouldn't bet against it. If the prosecutor will promise to file new charges and go to trial, however, then we hope the judge lets Craig have his wish. What fun that trial would be (even if he wins).

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