1997-07-21 - Re: Jim Bell: “IRS Inspection” mail confirmed, IU article

Header Data

From: Duncan Frissell <frissell@panix.com>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Message Hash: f533e5e2562497e5f740484ee4dc0905c592ce74875632b3024209b01d137ce3
Message ID: <>
Reply To: <Pine.GSO.3.96.970718155454.22939J-100000@linda.teleport.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-07-21 19:07:01 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 03:07:01 +0800

Raw message

From: Duncan Frissell <frissell@panix.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 03:07:01 +0800
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject: Re: Jim Bell: "IRS Inspection" mail confirmed, IU article
In-Reply-To: <Pine.GSO.3.96.970718155454.22939J-100000@linda.teleport.com>
Message-ID: <>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain


At 01:39 PM 7/21/97 -0400, Declan McCullagh wrote:
>I just spoke with Peter Avenia, a Federal public defender representing Jim
>Bell. He said that Bell did indeed plead guilty last Friday to two felony
>counts and sentencing is set for October. Apparently at least the thrust of
>this "IRS Inspection" press release is accurate.
>Avenia knew nothing about it, though.

I'll be curious to see what kind of deal he got.  It had better be an awfully 
good one (say "time served").  If not he was as dumb as toast.

He had a perfect chance to rake the Feds over the coals and try nasty 
disfavored defenses like Selective Prosecution.  Hard to win that one but he 
had as good a case as any one I've seen for that defense.  At the most, he 
would have gotten a short sentence if convicted.  Big deal.  

Since he was apparently not doing a great deal with his life in any case, he 
could have used it for some good.  Make the Feds spend hundreds of thousands 
of dollars on him and tie up their resources.  

Prison is no punishment for those who like to read and write.

In these political cases where the Feds are clearly overreaching, those who 
don't plead do much better than those who do.  This is the reverse of the 
situation in normal criminal cases.

Look at those in the Operation Sun Devil cases who plead vs. those who 
fought.  Or the Princeton Partners brokers who fought Rudy during the '80s 
Wall Street crackdown and won vs. Michael Milken who plead and ended up with 
the same sentence he would have received if he had been convicted.  Or even 
G. Gordon Liddy who refused to plead, was convicted and sentenced to a long 
sentence got pardoned (because of the disparity of his punishment) and is now 
more successful than all the rest of that crew put together.  

Don't plead in political cases.  It's stupid.


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