Senator Stevens Convicted

The New York Times, and at least 1,400 other news sources, are reporting that Senator Ted Stevens of Alaskan (and Bridge-to-Nowhere and “The Internet is a series of tubes”) fame, has been convicted on all charges of making false statements on his disclosure forms.  Though conventional wisdom may have assumed that Senator Stevens (who does not automatically lose his seat due to the conviction) would be convicted, it was actually pretty dicey for the government, as the judge scolded the AUSAs trying the case a number of times.  Additionally, there will probably be a lot of second-guessing about whether Senator Stevens should have rushed to trial as he did.  The Speedy Trial Act states that an individual has the right to be put to trial within 70 days of his initial appearance before a federal magistrate judge.  He could have “waived” that deadline, however, and tried to push the case off for a number of months in order to have more time to prepare.

In any event, Senator Stevens will no doubt file a motion for a new trial, or other post-conviction relief.  In the meantime, however, a presentence investigation report will be compiled by a United States Probation Officer, and sentencing will probably be set for at least three months from now.  After that point, the final judgment will be issued, and Senator Stevens will have ten days from that day to file his notice of appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which may prove to be useful for him.  As everyone knows, the Ninth Circuit is CRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZZYYYYYYY.