Sunday, July 1, 2012

Russian Legal Team Dream: A U.S. President as Merciful as a Russian President!

RiaNovosti reports that the legal defense team of Russian businessman Viktor Bout (who is in solitary confinement, but claims he is not guilty) "will seek a pardon from U.S. President Barack Obama if appeals fail." One could view that news as evidence of one of the most impressive expressions of self-confidence in the legal profession in ages ... or as one of the most thinly veiled announcements of defeat and despair.

I mean, do these lawyers even know President Obama's record on clemency ?

Bout was given a 25-year sentence for "conspiring to kill U.S. nationals and sell arms to militants." More specifically:
Bout, a former Soviet military officer, was found guilty of conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, including military officers and employees, conspiring to use anti-aircraft missiles, and selling millions of dollars’ worth of weapons to the Colombian rebel group FARC. 
But his legal team observes that, in 2000, Russian President Vladimir Putin pardoned a U.S. citizen accused of spying. 

Do they know Obama's DOJ is less merciful than Putin's regime?

It is reported that Bout’s defense "will also appeal to both the U.S. Court of Appeals and to the Supreme Court" which - given what we know, and is well known - makes infinitely more sense than counting on a pardon. There is also the hope that the U.S. will extradite Bout to Russia so that he could serve his time there. See story here

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