The media is now celebrating a recent ruling in the Roger Stone case.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied Roger Stone’s request for a retrial in an 81-page opinion on Thursday.
Judge says no
Stone and his legal team argued that he didn’t get a fair trial and that the jury forewoman had a preconceived notion about his guilt before the trial even got underway. But the judge disagreed.
“The assumption underlying the motion — that one can infer from the juror’s opinions about the president that she could not fairly consider the evidence against the defendant — is not supported by any facts or data and it is contrary to controlling legal precedent,” Jackson argued. “The motion is a tower of indignation, but at the end of the day there is very little substance holding it up.”
Judge Jackson went on to criticize the work — or lack thereof — done by Stone’s legal team.
“An effort to uncover social media activity would not have required the lawyers to pore over dusty family court records in the basement of a county courthouse,” Jackson wrote. “All they had to do was sit and type her name into an internet search engine on a laptop — a rudimentary practice that has been an inexpensive and popular arrow in the trial practitioner’s quiver for quite some time.”
Stone, last year, was convicted on seven criminal accounts, including witness tampering, obstructing a congressional investigation, and lying to congress. This was all in relation to the investigation into alleged Russia-Trump collusion in the 2016 presidential election.
In February, Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison and ordered to pay $20,000 in fines.
This sentence, however, was put on hold as Stone and his legal team requested a retrial, contending that the jury forewoman, Tomeka Hart, was biased.
Such a possibility came about prior to the February sentencing when Hart went public on Facebook to praise the work done by the federal prosecutors in the case. It was then discovered that Hart, prior to the trial, was openly critical of both Stone and President Donald Trump, even going so far as to call Trump’s supporters “racists.”
Not going to happen
It is unclear whether Stone and his legal team will appeal the decision. The judge did lift Stone’s gag order, and he headed straight to an interview on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Friday night. Stone, who has health issues, told Carlson that the prison time “with the coronavirus essentially amounts to a death sentence.”
At this point, as the Washington Times reports, it isn’t even clear whether Stone, 67, will even be put behind bars because of coronavirus policies that try to limit infections in prisons. Another possibility, of course, is a presidential pardon.