Libby sentence: A July 4 article in Section A about President Bush’s commutation of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s prison term, comparing that 30-month sentence with penalties in cases similar to Libby’s, cited the case of a decorated Army veteran sentenced to 30 months for lying to a federal agent about buying a machine gun. The article incorrectly said the veteran had no criminal record. He had been convicted in 1986 of making false statements in connection with a firearms purchase. Sentencing guidelines did not count that against him because it was more than 10 years before the more recent offense.
It took only 13 days from the day the article came out — which was the same day I spoon-fed them the correction. And all it took was two e-mails to the Readers’ Representative, one post pointing out the error, and one post bitching about the delay.
P.S. In that post, I said:
[S]ome may argue that the error is indeed trivial, because under the Sentencing Guidelines, Rita’s previous conviction did not count for purposes of calculating his criminal history points. In fact, if we ever do see a correction on this, I have absolutely no doubt — none whatsoever — that the paper will include a sentence trying to minimize the importance of the error by noting this fact.
Call me Karnak. (I think it’s supposed to be spelled “Carnac,” but I prefer “Karnak.”)
P.P.S. In the same post, I also noted that U.S. v. Booker (which Rita accepted as applicable precedent) held that the Sentencing Guidelines are merely advisory, meaning that the judge could have taken Rita’s previous conviction into account despite the Guidelines. So the weaselly correction is misleading. Now there’s a first!