Based on the reports we read, it doesn't sound like the Minnesota judge hearing Larry "Wide Stance" Craig's effort to plead unguilty is very sympathetic to his case.
The Judge, Charles Porter, questioned Craig's high powered D.C. counsel, Billy Martin, carefully about the move to withdraw the guilty plea to disorderly conduct in the Minnesota airport men's room.
The judge easily dispensed with the claim that if Craig would have appeared in Court, he may have plead differently because a judge would have asked him questions. "If he intended to plead guilty, he would have said 'yes' to questions about whether he knew he had committed a crime," said the judge. (He might have added that the whole reason Craig would have voluntarily MAILED in his guilty plea was precisely to avoid answering those questions in an open public forum attended by the press!! Which, by the way, is a very knowing--and wise--waiver of the right to appear in court.)
Porter also dispensed with Martin's claim that Craig's actions did not constitute a crime. Perhaps that's true, but there's enough for a jury to make that determination.
The judge had only one question for the prosecution, which was procedural.
As we've said before, Craig has not demonstrated a basis for withdrawing his guilty plea. But we'd still like to see him have a chance to go to trial on the merits, for its entertainment value.
The spectre of Los Angeles juries being willing to suspend disbelief to exonerate Hollywood celebrities remains alive. An hung jury was unable to convict record producer Phil Spector, who has a sordid past of threatening women with firearms and other bizarre conduct, in the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson.
At least it was 10-2 in favor of conviction. Can you actually get 12 people in Los Angeles who can follow a set of real facts?
One of the two holdouts criticized the prosecution for not putting on evidence that Clarkson was not suicidal. Guess they weren't impressed with the testimony of Spector's driver, who testified that, after a loud "bang", Spector appeared at his front door, HOLDING A GUN, and said "I THINK I JUST SHOT SOMEONE."
It must be easy being a criminal defense lawyer in California.