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July 13, 2007

Going, going, gone ... to federal prison for BALCO leak

Despite notable efforts to get use the Libby commutation to get a reduced sentence, attorney Troy Ellerman received a different kind of Libby treatment when hw was sentenced to 30 month's imprisonment for leaking confidential grand jury testimony of Barry Bonds and other athletes to a reporter.  Lots of interesting details of the sentencing are available in articles from the AP and from Reuters.  Here are some particulars from the AP:

Ellerman initially blamed federal investigators for leaking the testimony and argued that the case against his client be tossed out because of government misconduct. He also lied to a judge about not knowing the source of the leaks. "This affected, and infected every aspect of the judicial system," U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White said.

White also rejected Ellerman's argument that he should get a lighter sentence because President Bush commuted former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's 2 1/2-year prison sentence for perjury to probation. White said to do so would open the door to doling out unduly lenient sentences for other white collar criminals.  "If Mr. Ellerman is dissatisfied with his sentence, he should seek a commutation from the president," White said....

Ellerman said the pressures of the high-profile case coupled with alcohol and cocaine abuse were major factors in letting the reporter view the transcripts.  "I did not do this seeking publicity," he told the judge.  He said trying to cover his tracks "took on a life of its own."

He pleaded guilty to four felony counts of obstruction of justice and related charges, and federal prosecutors dropped their case against the two reporters.  They had faced up to 18 months in prison for refusing to divulge the source of the leak.

Judge White also ordered Ellerman to give 10 talks on conduct to law students. The judge didn't fine Ellerman.

July 13, 2007 at 03:54 AM | Permalink

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Comments

White also rejected Ellerman's argument that he should get a lighter sentence because President Bush commuted former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's 2 1/2-year prison sentence
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What a surprise, huh? I guess the impact of Bush's commutation is not going to be so great after all. Forgot to factor in the fact that judges are vested with the power to reject bad pleading. Anyone have any data on the impact of the "Twinkie defense" on federal sentencing? Have always been curious about that.

Posted by: P.S. Ruckman, Jr. | Jul 13, 2007 3:32:44 PM

In spite of your sneering, know-it-all tone, this is but one case, by yet another GOP appointee who has little regard for justice or fairness. Gloat all you want, Mr. Ruckman, while your country imprisons more people than any other country on the face of the earth.

Posted by: william | Jul 14, 2007 12:32:55 PM

> another GOP appointee who has little regard for justice or fairness.

Sneering you say?

Look any suggestion that a public explanation for the use of the pardon power in an individual case will turn into an earth-shattering defense for litigants all over the federal judicial system deserves some scrutiny. Don't you agree? Why would you, or anyone else, have a problem with that? Show me what a know-it-all I am not and give me another example, as in just ONE, where this has ever happened before?

Posted by: PSRuckman | Jul 14, 2007 8:45:13 PM

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