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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Craig’s Legal Options

posted by on August 30 at 10:35 AM

I was asking a lawyer friend about this the other night: Can Idaho Sen. Larry Craig actually take back his guilty plea in his restroom cruising case? If not, then why was Craig talking about having retained counsel to look into this? What’s to look into if he’s already pleaded guilty?

The LA Times offers some answers, exploring Craig’s legal options in today’s paper. As TPM points out, none of those options are good.

For starters: Under Minnesota law Craig could certainly try to take back his guilty plea, but it’s not certain a judge would allow it, and anyway the consequence of taking back the plea could very well be a public trial.

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this quote in slate from lithwick says it best.

"Since up to 90 percent of criminal convictions result from plea bargaining, and at least 90 percent of the people in prison seem to insist that they are innocent, it stands to reason that the criminal justice system will not necessarily invalidate a guilty plea simply because the defendant makes out-of-court statements about his innocence."

Posted by SeMe | August 30, 2007 10:45 AM

Oh please God may there be a public trial. Pleasepleasepleasepleaseprettypleasewithsugarontop.

Posted by Providence | August 30, 2007 10:47 AM

He should take some pills, slash a wrist, go to rehab, leave rehab, get a tattoo, shave his head (What's left to shave), go to rehab, leave rehab, etc.

He'll be fine if he does all of the above, in said order. Though he wouldn't be Idaho's Senator anymore...but who would want to be, anyway? C'mon Craig! You could be a star!

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 30, 2007 10:49 AM

I think we need a public trial on this - and one that lasts oh ... say about ... 22 months ... with lots of testimony by sitting Republicants around say ... October 2008 ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 30, 2007 10:54 AM

It's freakin Idaho, for chirt's sake. If he leaves another gay hater will pop right into his spot.

Posted by monkey | August 30, 2007 11:02 AM

Pretty much. Idaho is 99.9% Conservative.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 30, 2007 11:12 AM

Does Jon Tester have a cousin west of the state line? If the Dems could take down Conrad Burns (weakened by Abramoff ties), they can take Craig's seat (weakened by toe tappin' fun) with the right candidate. Any organic potato farmers or Army vets ready to step up? What's that, an Army vet is running Dem in 08? LaRocco '08!

Posted by buffalo | August 30, 2007 11:18 AM

Yes, let there be a public trial, and let the soon-to-be-former Senator solicit funds for his legal fees by siphoning money through a non-profit run by a convicted sex offender,.

Posted by Mahtli69 | August 30, 2007 11:51 AM

I agree with buffalo. If Craig resigns, Idaho's republican governor will appoint another republican to replace him. The replacement will be every bit as conservative as Craig, and will then run as an incumbent in 2008, and likely be reelected.

If Craig refuses to resign and serves out his term, this will hang around his neck like an albatross, his credibility will remain in the toilet (pun intended), and he'll stand no chance of being reelected. If he decides to run for reelection, he'll be easy to beat. If doesn't run for reelection, then a democrat has a lot better chance running for an open seat vacated by a loathed hypocrite, than they would running against an incumbent republican replacement.

So please, Craig, serve out your term. Better yet, please please please try to get this case reopened. I'd love to see this drag out in a very public way for the next year or so.

Posted by SDA in SEA | August 30, 2007 11:56 AM

I think people who only look at Idaho's past voting record and overt religiosity are missing another big piece of the puzzle.

These are the people whose sons and daughters are dying pointlessly in Iraq.

I have several EXTREMELY conservative, religious family members who have kids and grandkids in the military. Without exception, every one of them has turned at least ambivalent about the Forever War, and almost all of them are disgusted with the current crop of Giant Intrusive Incompetent Government Republicans. They may not be ready to vote for Democrats - the Republican smear machine has done too good a job equating Democrat with Tax-Hungry Libertines Who Want To Give All Your Money to Brown People. But I think a lot of them are not going to vote for Republicans, either. They're going to stay home en masse.

I think Idaho is going to surprise a lot of people.

Posted by Geni | August 30, 2007 12:58 PM

transcripts of his arrest are up on

Posted by yucca flower | August 30, 2007 2:31 PM

@9 - Everyone, please join me in sending Senator Craig an email of support. Tell him to fight these bogus charges. Appeal to the Supreme Court if he has to.

Voter in Boise (or Wherever, ID)

Posted by Mahtli69 | August 30, 2007 2:36 PM

I don't understand why this whole thing is such a big deal. Sure it's funny when someone who claims to take the moral high ground proves that he actually prefers the moral low-ground, but froma voting perspective, the guy represented his constituents in spite of the fact that it seems to have went against his core beliefs.

Does anyone think for a second that if he would have voted any differently he would have stood a chance in Idaho? This is Idaho we are talking about. They still celebrate Hitler's birthday there. Idaho isn't going Democrat even if Craig was caught wearing women's underwear and masturbating into a feces pie.

Be mad at the people of Idaho all you want, but isn't representing your constituents the job of a politician?

Posted by Clint | August 30, 2007 2:51 PM

Larry Craig, apparently a man that loves gay sex, has actively fought against the rights of Americans that are gay systematically, regularly, and with malice. His hypocrisy would be laughable if not so sad. As for representing his constituets lying to yourself and the people that elected you are are not qualities of leadership in the democracy of my dreams. Whats really funny is the "Big Tent" is not so big and the wizards and ring leaders in the big tent are so willing to sacrifice their own.I like the idea of many congressional hearings, trials long and drawn out, and the 411 will so salicious.

Get real and you can get out of the loo.

Posted by Logan | August 30, 2007 7:44 PM

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