Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"The lash is about to fall on all"

That was Judge Cooke today during the motion for a rule to show cause in the Jose Padilla case. Judge Cooke showed why she is such a great judge during the hearing -- she took appropriate action for the leak to the NY Times but did not go overboard and order an evidentiary hearing or sanctions.

The government's main argument for going forward with an evidentiary hearing was to make sure that those who were responsible for trying to "taint the jury pool" were exposed and punished. But if the defense lawyers were truly interested in tainting the jury pool, why leak to the NY Times? Why not leak to television reporters (as was done in this case) or at least the local reporters (who covered the action today here, here, and here). Although Judge Cooke apparently has a subscription, how many Miami jurors actually read the NY Times?

In the end, Judge Cooke took the defense lawyers at their word that "this was a simple misunderstanding, an honest mistake, and it has been rectified. Your honor can rest assured that this matter is at an end. There have been no further disclosures.''

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