CommunityFDL Main Blog

Cry No More

Well, so much for that hazy “people convicted of perjury and lying to federal agents during the course of an investigation didn’t really commit crimes and oughtn’t go to jail, and they never prosecute that anyway” talking point malarky.  And it comes from the US Supreme Court, too:

The case that the court decided yesterday, Rita v. United States, No. 06-5754, was meant to help define “advisory.”

Victor Rita, convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, asked for a lighter sentence based in part on his past military service. But the judge gave him 33 months, as suggested by the guidelines. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, upheld the sentence, saying that penalties within the guidelines are “presumptively reasonable.”

What did defendant Rita do, you ask?  (H/T to 2strange for the link)

He made two false statements to a federal grand jury. The jury was investigating a gun company. Prosecutors believed that buyers of a kit, called a “PPSH 41 machinegun ‘parts kit,’ ” could assemble a machinegun from the kit, and that the company had not secured the necessary permits to import machine guns.

Rita had purchased one of the kits and when he was contacted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, he agreed to let the agent inspect the kit. But, before, meeting with the agent, he sent back the kit and, instead, substituted a kit that did not amount to a machine gun. The government contended that he lied to the grand jury about his actions and he was convicted for making false statements and committing perjury.

Hmmmm…he committed perjury while under oath before a federal grand jury which was investigating his allegedly criminal actions and he also lied to federal agents. And federal prosecutors brought this case against him, tried him in a court of law and a jury of his peers convicted him, and then a federal judge sentenced him under the federal sentencing guidelines applicable to his conduct, with a bump up for an enhanced penalty for the underlying crime related to the investigation.Now why does that sound familiar, I ask myself?

They keep this up, someone is going to have to write Victoria Toensing some new talking points. Because the “they never prosecute these types of perjury cases” bullshit has just been exposed for the fraud that it is in an 8 to 1 opinion.   

(More to come on the Walton Memorandum Opinion — am working fast as I can, gang…) 

Previous post

Elizabeth Edwards to appear at San Francisco Pride breakfast

Next post

Winger: Bush's white Southern male judicial nominees victims of racial bias

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com