Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Larry Craig doth protest too much

We really wish this he would go away, but it seems that he is once again trying to change his plea again:

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) is once again fighting to withdraw his guilty plea in an airport sex sting, filing an appeals brief on Tuesday arguing that his actions were not criminal.

“There is an insufficient factual basis to support the finding that he is guilty of violating any laws,” said Craig's lawyer, Billy Martin.

The filing is an appeal to an October ruling in Minnesota, rejecting Craig’s first attempt to have the guilty plea withdrawn.

Craig was arrested by an undercover police officer at the Minneapolis airport on June 11 as part of a broader investigation into men soliciting sex in airport restrooms.

According to the officer who made the arrest, Craig tapped his feet (in the now infamous “wide stance”) and swiped his hand along a stall divider in a suggestive manner.

In the brief, Craig’s legal team argues that the senator’s actions were not criminal because Minnesota’s disorderly conduct law requires that conduct alarm or anger “others,” while Craig’s actions only affected a single individual — the officer who made the arrest.

The brief also argues that Craig’s hand gestures are a form of constitutionally protected speech.

Airport authorities, however, remain skeptical.

"Facts are resilient," airport spokesman Patrick Hogan told The Associated Press. "And Sen. Craig's continued, transparent efforts to escape them don't change the truth of his behavior in an airport restroom or the fact that he admitted guilt last August."

In a statement, Martin said the court of appeals “abused its discretion” by not allowing Craig to withdraw his plea and maintained Craig's innocence.

It has been a good legal week for Martin, who got another high profile client — football star Michael Vick — transferred to a drug treatment center, which could reduce his sentence in the notorious dogfighting case.

In the Craig matter, the state of Minnesota now has 45 days to file a response.

OK, I'm no lawyer here, but this is getting a little ridiculous. He plead guilty and was sentenced though the sentence was stayed. Can anyone imagine if OJ Simpson had plead guilty, been sentenced, then spent months upon months of fighting to change his plea? Please. I don't really care if the may is gay or not. what I'm concerned with is how he's trying to make a mockery out of the criminal justice system in Minnesota.

If he hadn't intended to plead guilty, then why did he sign the petition admitting his guilt? That petition read, in part:

"I understand that the court will not accept a plea of guilty from anyone who claims to be innocent... I now make no claim that I am innocent of the charge to which I am entering a plea of guilty."

If you weren't guilty, then why sign it? Additionally, if he reneges on this, couldn't his earlier signed petition be open to a fraud charge, that he knowingly committed an act of fraud on the courts by signing a petition knowing that the statement it made wasn't true? The petition states "I now make no claim that I am innocent," and yet this is exactly the argument that he and his lawyer are making.

Senator Craig please leave. Leave the political scene, leave your seat in Congress, and move on already. No one really cares about you or your crime. What people are concerned with is what I just said. This is turning the courts in Minnesota and the appellate courts into a three-ring circus. If he truly was innocent, plead not guilty, and prepare for trial. Obviously he was otherwise why would he have signed the petition?

Publius II


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