"In a written statement commuting the jail sentence, issued hours after Monday's ruling, Bush called the sentence "excessive," and suggested that Libby will pay a big enough price for his conviction."
Strangely, Bush has made no attempt to commute other overly harsh sentences, such as those charged on the so-called "three-strikes" laws, or for that matter, people being held without charges, at all.
Added later, the astute comments of my old friend Paul:
Bush Commutes Libby's Sentence: 2.5 Years too Much for Rich, White Man
Scooter Libby won't be going to jail. President Bush commuted his sentence last night, leaving the conviction intact, but excising the punishement.
"I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said in a statement. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Libby is excessive."
Critics are crying foul, but Bush's record of opposing harsh and excessive sentencing is strong. As Governor of Texas, he presided over 152 executions in 6 years, all preceded by a review, and many by a full fledged clemency request. He granted clemency only once. Executee retarded or possibly innocent? Didn't matter.
And his record on pardons is similarly sterling:
"Bush granted 19 of the 149 pardons "for innocence" or compassion that were urged by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, an official review body for such requests. Scholars at the University of Pittsburgh have said that was the lowest number by any Texas governor since the 1940s."
UPDATE 10:43 PM 7/5: See this wonderful rant by Keith Olbermann hattip to Merde