Stunning Development

President Palin’s Chief Justice Pick Declares “Moral Certitude” a Factor in BARD Threshold

Justice Lynn Leibovitz Declares Belief in "Moral Certitude."

Washington DC, August 2, 2018 — DC Court of Appeals Justice Lynn Leibovitz stunned constitutional scholars today with her bold pronouncement about the role “moral certitude” should play when determining guilt in a criminal case.

Leibovitz, President Sarah Palin’s Chief Justice pick for the United States Supreme Court said, “Ruling only on the evidence proffered at trial constrains a jury and a judge in a bench trial. They are asked to leave their moral reasoning skills at the door of justice.” Chief Justice John Roberts, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005, announced his retirement from the Supreme Court two months ago. Roberts’ idiopathic seizures grew continually worse throughout the past eight years. He ultimately decided they were preventing him from fulfilling his responsibilities to the Court.

A question from Doug Johnson, a New York Times columnist, prompted today’s answer. He followed up by asking Justice Leibovitz if this pronouncement would, by chance, reverse any of her previous rulings. “Certainly,” Leibovitz quickly answered. “Twelve years ago to this day, Robert Wone was murdered. The case remains unsolved. Three men were brought up on charges relating to obstruction of justice, conspiracy and tampering. I had a moral certitude about where the evidence led in that case.”

“As the trial judge in a bench trial, I was constrained to make my decision based solely on “evidentiary certainty”.  While the trial evidence established the “clear and convincing” threshold, it alone did not reach beyond a reasonable doubt.” Leibovitz cited legal history of the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard, and noted its evolution from “moral certainty” to “evidentiary certainty.” “While we should not return to “moral certainty” being the sole factor when determining guilt, it should at least be a factor,” qualified Justice Leibovitz.

“At the time of my decision, all I could offer the victims of his family was the cold comfort of my own judgment. The law failed the family of Robert Wone.”

Leibovitz’s announcement opened an extremely angry broadside from liberal and left-leaning legal academics. Roger Lowenstein, dean at the Northeastern College of Law said, “Beyond a reasonable doubt is settled law. It would not be wise for the Supreme Court to spend time arguing over established law when more pressing issues are before the court. It would be more important to hear Justice Leibovitz’s judicial thoughts about biomedical advancements such as entirely eliminating the sexual act from reproduction and how the Court should rule on that. I would strongly suggest this nonsense not be an issue at Justice Leibovitz’s upcoming hearing.”

Conservative constitutional scholars erupted with applause. “DNA evidence has brought scientific evidence to the forefront of the evidentiary standard, but absent moral reasoning, too many criminal decisions look only at the trees. This does not allow the jury nor a Judge to look at the forest they comprise,” said Deborah Wilson, dean of the University of Chicago School of Law. “It’s time to allow juries and judges to look at the forest.”

— Posted by David

135 comments for “Stunning Development

  1. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    07/09/2010 at 9:22 AM

    Leibovitz quickly answered. “Twelve years ago to this day, Robert Wone was murdered. It remains unsolved.”

    12 years ago…to this day?

    She could AT LEAST get the approximate date correct. What other facts did she get wrong?

    “Beyond a reasonable doubt.” Obviously, beyond a reasonable doubt is subjective. If measured in distance, Judge Leibovitz’s “beyond” would be 1 mile and then some….mine? An inch or two.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      07/09/2010 at 9:26 AM

      Cute. Just read the date. What is this? The Onion?

      • Carolina
        07/09/2010 at 9:07 PM

        At least it wasn’t posted in comic sans.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          07/09/2010 at 9:22 PM

          Carolina, sometimes you make me scream out in laughter. So damn funny. LOL

        • AnnaZed
          07/09/2010 at 10:02 PM

          Something perverse in me loves Comic Sans, but I have been trained by others with better taste to abstain.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            07/09/2010 at 10:14 PM

            Go ahead, AnnaZ. Sometimes it feels good to be bad.

    • Deb
      07/09/2010 at 10:06 AM

      It’s a satirical piece, and quite well done at that. Please don’t take it so literally that you start fattening the children of Ireland?

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        07/09/2010 at 10:21 AM

        Cute, Deb.

      • Bill
        07/09/2010 at 6:07 PM

        The woman got the year wrong and you brush it off so easily? I’d be very concerned.

  2. Vandy
    07/09/2010 at 9:44 AM

    Is this supposed to be a joke or has the WMRW site been hacked?

    • Kate
      07/09/2010 at 9:51 AM

      Vandy – I believe it’s just a “fooley,” a faux news story from the year 2018!

      Editor Doug Johnson will one day be a New York Times columnist. I think Doug and company could run the whole darn paper!

      Cheers, and thanks for the smile (although the President Palin thing gave me a moment of pause),

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        07/09/2010 at 10:11 AM

        I’m kinda on the fence about out and out satire. As a website that goes above and beyond to deliver factual information, delivering an out of the blue satirical piece that belongs in The Onion doesn’t sit well (with me).

        This project has garnered such respect far and wide, I find this a step down from the brilliance and purpose of this website.

        But that’s just me.

        • Jim
          07/09/2010 at 12:59 PM

          I agree 100%. Come on guys you have done such an amazing job with this site. This was silly and unnecessary.

          • bigfatmike
            07/09/2010 at 7:54 PM

            ‘silly and unnecessary.’

            Well maybe so.

            But we have just come through a very intense time. And we can anticipate it will get more intense through the fall.

            Even the most serious and highly motivated need some down time once in a while.

            From that perspective the timing for this would seem to be just about perfect.

            Perhaps those of you with perfect discipline can forgive those of us who giggled out of turn.

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
              07/09/2010 at 8:14 PM

              bigfatmike says: “perhaps those of you with perfect discipline can forgive those of us who giggled out of turn.”

              Now why did you have to go and make it personal and insult those of us that didn’t find it appealing or appropriate? That wasn’t nice, bfm. Geez.

              • bigfatmike
                07/09/2010 at 8:44 PM

                You are of course are quite right.

                After re-reading my previous post I am shocked at my insensitivity.

                Absolutely shocked!

                • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                  07/09/2010 at 8:47 PM

                  You’re swell, bfm. 🙂

              • AnnaZed
                07/09/2010 at 10:04 PM

                Let ye who is without lapses of discipline cast the first tomato.

                • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                  07/09/2010 at 10:21 PM

                  ha! Love it.

        • dlpeters
          07/09/2010 at 2:15 PM

          I am certainly no fan of Sarah Palin & Company, and appreciate creative and amusing satire, especially when directed at those who advocate some really outlandish ‘principles.’

          But I was taken aback somewhat reading this kind of prose on a website that seeks to shine light on a gross injustice.

          I would keep the satire for a more appropriate venue and maintain the dignity and high level of intellect that has become the standard for content on this site.

          But given the heat, we should give the editors much latitude for taking this blog temporarily (hopefully) off topic.

          • dlpeters
            07/09/2010 at 8:51 PM

            i wish to make a follow up post to my original comment earlier today. i have nothing but the utmost respect for the editors and those who contribute to this blog. I have received a fabulous free education in the workings of our legal system. And while I am very disappointed at the outcome of the criminal phase of these proceedings, I have great respect for the ‘rule of law’ and agree that the burden of proof must always be on the government, least our country turn into some kind of dictatorship.

            I served in the past (many years, I must admit) as the chair of a town government council, and all of the council members would stand and recite the pledge of allegiance at the beginning of every meeting. and i would always emphasize very loudly the final phrase “and liberty and justice FOR ALL.’ My emphasis on ‘for all’ was deliberate in that i believed that America stood for equal opportunity, equal protection, and equal justice, regardless of background; that all of us should be respected and that our government would fulfill the promises of the founding fathers and principles of ‘equal protection under the law.’

            And while I must respect the decision of the judge, and concur that the burden must always rest with the government to prove ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ the guilt of those accused, i still find it difficult to accept in this case, and in others (e.g. the OJ case) that too often the guilty escape punishment because of the standards of proof we have as the basis of our criminal justice system. But i find that i cannot accept any less standard given the number of convicted who later were proven innocent through emerging technologies. Perhaps i must accept that God will be the final ‘decider’ in matters beyond our control.

            • Eagle
              07/09/2010 at 10:07 PM

              Don’t forget Dp- this was not a murder exoneration. That charge remains open.
              Who knows what will emerge in the civil suit.
              I do know one thing.
              Robert is dead. He did not kill himself.
              And…..a killer/killers is still roaming our streets, probably in the DC metropolitan area.
              So many killers are caught on their second or third episodes of violence.
              I hope this is not the case here.
              It is amazing how many of our citizens accept legal judgments, even though they may not agree with them.
              One plus for democracy’s future…..I think.

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                07/09/2010 at 10:20 PM

                Yes…still roaming the streets of DC.

                I work in the IP group of a large general practice firm in DC. I heard we’re getting a new partner. It flashed through my mind “what if it’s Joe Price?”

                • gertiestn
                  07/09/2010 at 11:05 PM

                  Oh, my. I can’t imagine how that would feel…

                  • susan
                    07/09/2010 at 11:26 PM

                    I would imagine he’s consumed right now in preparing for the civil case. I would also imagine that the trouple might be sick of each other at this point and might want to get away from each other after that’s over. Or maybe they are now glued together for eternity. Likely they are the latter in terms of the bond/bondage they created the evening of 8/2/2006.

                    I have to think they are not as comfy surrounded by suburban vehicles and not mercedes, mercedes, etc., and sharing a home that is not theirs.

        • Bill
          07/09/2010 at 6:09 PM

          Oh – this is satire? I agree that this is problematic. Wasn’t there enough news? Disturbing.

      • Vandy
        07/09/2010 at 11:12 AM

        Okay — I kinda get it now. But in 2018, the Robert Wone case is still unsolved? Interesting.


        • Vandy
          07/09/2010 at 1:10 PM

          Can the next piece be about the Ninja?

          TGIF…does anybody know if DWard is back in business? I need a massage.

          • Clio
            07/10/2010 at 1:25 PM

            On Dyl, I do not know, but ask Chuck Robb or Al Gore about the political ramifications of getting an “inappropriate” bodyrub.

    • Banshee
      07/09/2010 at 10:03 AM

      Excellent for a Friday morning – thanks! I am a little worried about a couple responses; remind me of people who thought Spinal Tap was a real documentary/band – not that it wasn’t!

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        07/09/2010 at 10:12 AM

        Cut me some slack Banshee.

        • Banshee
          07/09/2010 at 10:23 AM

          CD in DC,
          Please note that I posted before you, so my comment wasn’t directed to your post. But of course I’ll cut you some slack.

          I take the purpose of this site v. seriously. But we’re a varied lot, and my culture has and does rely on humor as one tool to get through this vale of tears. I’m Irish, so please return the favor and cut me some slack. Thanks.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            07/09/2010 at 10:32 AM

            Actually, I posted at 9:22. It’s the first glaring misunderstanding of the day. Much to my chagrin. So you can see why I would include myself as part the “couple of responses” (and considering only 2 of us had posted questioning the piece).

            I read it without reading the date…sure my brow was a bit furrowed while reading. But it’s not the kind of post you find on this website. In fact, it’s the first out and out satirical piece ever. So, for nearly 2 years I tune in every morning in a particular mindset. Serious stuff. And then WHAM! satire. Caught me off guard.

            And I’ve seen Spinal Tap. And I got it.

            • Deb
              07/09/2010 at 11:14 AM


              Your initial reaction was perfect, as was the WHAMMO moment. That’s what satire is supposed to do: shake people up about something that needs to be seriously considered.

              A good satirical essay, as I think this one is, will make you question and strive for positive progress.

              I understand your position of taking Mr. Wone’s murder seriously. I think if you approach the satire from the point of view that it will stir others to think (as you have already done and continue to do) you may be able to better see it’s place.

              Again, both of your reactions were the one’s sought by a satirist. Given the fact that you are known to be an intelligent and thoughtful reader, hats off again to our intrepid reporter.


              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                07/09/2010 at 11:28 AM

                Thank you, Deb….your reply was very thoughtful. I certainly felt a bit embarrassed by my initial misunderstanding. As they say in carpentry, measure twice, cut once. Maybe a second read before posting would have saved me from a heckle or two!


                • Kate
                  07/10/2010 at 8:23 AM

                  No worries, CD, and no need to feel embarrassed.

                  I, too, was taken aback upon reading the post for the first time. After the second reading, it gave me a smile – a bit of levity after an intense period.

                  And, as always, thank you for your thoughtful posts,


                  • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                    07/10/2010 at 11:00 AM

                    Kate, you’re very kind. Thank you for the support amongst all the barbs.

  3. DW
    07/09/2010 at 10:05 AM

    Excuse me – but does NO ONE care that Leibovitz is President PALIN’s choice? We clearly have MUCH bigger things to worry about if Sarah Palin is running things in 2018!!!!

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      07/09/2010 at 10:13 AM

      Perish the thought.

      • former crackho
        07/09/2010 at 2:04 PM

        Don’t worry, she’ll be lucky to get a permament seat on the “View” by then.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          07/09/2010 at 3:13 PM

          hilarious, fch

    • des
      07/09/2010 at 2:07 PM

      i was just so happy about roberts stepping down as chief justice….
      but i was a bit confused about his health issues, lol. i knew that i’d been crazy busy and out of the loop lately but i was wondering how i missed all of *that*. hahaha

  4. xxx
    07/09/2010 at 10:22 AM

    I think you have it backwards: the conservative justices stick with the “strict construction” of the law / Constitution, much to the outrage of liberals. It is the Justices that are willing to look at the Constitution as a “living, breathing, and organic” document and who are into “empathy” who will want to ignore the evidence and statutes and make decisions based on factors other than the evidence put before them and the black letter law.

    • Bill Orange
      07/09/2010 at 7:14 PM

      Counter-example: Bush v Gore (2000).

  5. Michael
    07/09/2010 at 10:29 AM

    Hmmm… not sure Judge Leibovitz would approve of this post. And I don’t think she would agree with implementing “moral certitude” in court rulings. The “forest” can easily be identified if the proper “trees” are brought to light. MPD didn’t provide the trees.

    This reminds me of an article I read the other day, where the writer proposed an alternate history of Elliott Smith; one where he had never released any solo material.

  6. Bruce
    07/09/2010 at 10:29 AM

    Satirical “news” is fun, but aren’t the editors going away from their expressed “neutrality” in this matter? Or has that changed?

    • Bruce
      07/09/2010 at 2:04 PM

      I’m a first time poster today, but have been a frequent “lurker” recently. My post above requested info as to whether the editors’ expressed “neutrality” in this matter has changed. I’m sure it is not unusual that no one directly responded. But I see on the FAQ that the editors describe themselves as: “We are neither pro-prosecution or pro-defense.” Also in the FAQ, they state: “Because we did not enter with any preconceptions about any of them, we hope we can bring as objective observation and comment as is possible.”

      Certainly posters in general need have no “neutrality,” and one of the things that makes this website so interesting are the different views of the posters. However, if the editors have changed their status as “neutrals,” by engaging in satire, etc., shouldn’t they change the FAQ? Satire is not “objective observation and comment.”

      Seems to me that the acquittal of the 3 housemates in the criminal matter has caused the opposite of the expected result, which is that now more people think they are more guilty now than before the aquittal! Have the editors joined that bandwagon?

      • Truth Be Told
        07/09/2010 at 5:07 PM

        Don’t waste your time being concerned about any of this infantile tabloid schlock because the so-called and glaringly amateur “Eds” sure as hell don’t.

        In fact, they were cozying up to the defense during the trial by flogging them a sign printed by the court and left on a chair; in their own words: “one for the scrapbook Bernie.” How cheap and you can just HEAR the lisp when that remark was made!

        Anyway, they foolishly see themselves as pivotal to this case even though their coverage has been as competent as the Metropolitan police processing the crime scene to this tragedy.

        • Bruce
          07/09/2010 at 6:49 PM

          Thanks, T-B-T, but I wasn’t meaning to invite a rambling non-sensical attack on the editors, just some intelligent discussion. How foolish of me! Kudos on your “lisp” remark. That is certainly offensive. Just…Never Mind.

        • Clio
          07/10/2010 at 11:43 AM

          ” … by flogging them …” Was that a Freudian slip, Joe?

          Nevertheless, it was “cheap” of the Editors to give Bernie just a paper sign: perhaps, a silver-plated paperweight with the “vicious” blog’s masthead emblazoned on it would have been a more appropriate reminder to the Clarence Darrow of our day. Just a thought.

        • Craig
          07/10/2010 at 2:33 PM

          Truth: We never did hear from those Echo/Bunnymen attorneys you were going to rat us out to. They didn’t take your call I guess. One screen name to a customer BTW.

      • Jo
        07/12/2010 at 2:50 AM

        After reading so many documents and analyzing the evidence over the years, I’m sure the editors have their personal opinions about this case. They are human and it’s to be expected. Even the judge has formed her personal opinion at the end of the trial although she had to rule differently from her personal belief due to constraints of the law.

  7. pete
    07/09/2010 at 10:45 AM

    Roberts retiring in 2018? LOL. He will be chief justice into the 2030’s.

    • Clio
      07/10/2010 at 11:23 AM

      Ugh! Now, that is the inconvenient truth for advocates of social and economic justice.

      Although, arguably the worst Chief Justice for LGBT rights in American history was “liberal” Earl Warren, who, as Governor of California, led a systematic and deliberate attack on “the lavender menace” that went far beyond the self-hate of J. Edgar Hoover. Go figure!

  8. Clio
    07/09/2010 at 11:00 AM

    “Mama Grizzlies” of the world, unite!

    Lynn Leibo is seemingly too judicious and “moderate” for this Sarah, though. And, Brook officiated at a same-sex marriage. So, both judges are probably too good for the Supremes: pity!

    Satire on a Friday in summer is O.K., but I myself cannot wait for Levi Johnston’s “keeping it real” analysis of the civil court procedures. Truth is always stranger than fiction, as we have painfully learned (again and again) in this case.

    • Bea
      07/10/2010 at 5:04 AM

      Levi Johnston’s “keeping it real” was simply too funny to leave alone. So well done.

      Eds, hilarious and well done. CD, I’m glad that I didn’t post right away but I smiled that you did – someone HAD to. Others bent on slingin’ trash at the Eds., really? Soon the Saturday morning cartoons will be on and you won’t have to read anything you don’t want to.

      • Kate
        07/10/2010 at 8:28 AM

        Three years for Scooby Doo! My childhood favorite.

        Hope you’re having fun on vacation, Bea,and thanks for my first Saturday morning smile – without the cartoons!


      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        07/10/2010 at 10:50 AM

        Bea said: “CD, I’m glad that I didn’t post right away but I smiled that you did – someone HAD to.”

        Yeah, well, I’ve been chastised for it all day.

        But Bea, don’t you think the “cartoons” comment is a little harsh? It’s so unlike you.

        It’s just a matter of personal likes or dislikes. Me? I’d prefer the straight-up reporting, as they have done in the past. A little humor thrown in was always welcomed by me and most. But I think the all out Onion-esque posting of yesterday was straying waaaay off course. It really had nothing to do with Robert Wone, and everything to do with political commentary. Did I think it was a well-written piece? I don’t know. I’m not a satire kinda girl. I read 3 non-fiction books to 1 novel. But it’s just a personal opinion.

        Most people that weighed in and said they didn’t care for this type of reported were attacked and insulted, when all people did was express an opinion. (Save for one that was a bit personal toward the editors in their views.) Most people that supported the piece added an extra jab toward those that did not.

        “Writing a letter to the editor” shouldn’t be met with such vitriol as was displayed yesterday.

        • Bea
          07/10/2010 at 11:24 AM

          Hey CD, my reference to ‘cartoons’ was directed not to the ‘tastes’ on satire but the ones which simply used this as an opportunity to be nasty (Truth Be Told). I wasn’t clear, so sorry ’bout that. You know I love you and as far as I’m concerned you have more veteran cred than anyone and can say as you please. Mentioning your faux paost was MEANT to distinguish, not lump together (and I was serious that jumping in is exactly the kind of thing I would do/have done – and loved that someone did).

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            07/10/2010 at 11:41 AM

            I didn’t think you were directing the cartoons comment toward me, Bea. I noted the distinction. I do thank you for clarifying though. 🙂

            I guess I was disappointed at the barbs being thrown about yesterday, when really only one person was very nasty to the editors (the poster you pointed out in your post above).

            Aww, shoot….maybe I’m hormonal. Do I still have those?

  9. mw
    07/09/2010 at 11:14 AM

    I’m sure sure what this satire is trying to say. Lebowitz wasn’t bound by “evidentiary certainty.” She was bound by the reasonable doubt standard. And that’s a standard for which there’s plenty of valid caselaw that says that “moral certainty” is enough.

  10. Rich
    07/09/2010 at 12:21 PM

    I thought these editors were in overwhelm and tired?

    Funny piece, took me back at first, but, surprised they slipped it in with all the other work in front of them.

    Interesting, how they never came clean on the joke and let it just post as is.

    All is cool.

  11. Hoya Loya
    07/09/2010 at 12:22 PM


    This is brilliant. Whether one felt that the result was unjust or that Judge Liebowitz was correct, it provides plenty of food for thought and forces one to re-examine ones conclusions.

    And given that the judge often displayed a sense of humor, I think she would appreciate this post as well.

  12. tucsonwriter
    07/09/2010 at 1:51 PM

    Very clever. I almost googled “idiopathic”….

  13. former crackho
    07/09/2010 at 2:01 PM

    I had to read this twice this morning, thinking all those years of shoving chemicals in my brain had finally caught up with me. This is a great piece, David. I bet you lost Palin at “idiopathic seisures”.

  14. galoon
    07/09/2010 at 2:31 PM


  15. Craig
    07/09/2010 at 3:01 PM

    Any longtime reader of the site is certainly familiar with the occasional foray into satirical commentary on these pages.

    The only question I’m left with is if 2018 is Palin’s first or second term. And I’m also starting to think that we fired our editorial cartoonist a little too early.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      07/09/2010 at 3:16 PM

      Not to this extent, Craig! Wow! Puns and jokes and subtle jabs maybe, but an all out farce? Not so much. LOL

    • former crackho
      07/09/2010 at 3:31 PM

      It think its safe to say “first term”. We wouldn’t be here if she made it to two. You can take that many different ways, and they are all correct.

    • Clio
      07/10/2010 at 10:30 AM

      By all means, Craig, hire another editorial cartoonist (this time, one with a New Yorker Magazine sensibility as befitting Mr. Ward’s bedtime reading), revive the sports desk, start up a business page (what is the future for ventures such as Eyecandy Dvds?), etc., etc. With over 80 comments on a piece of light satire on a Friday in summer, the flies “and assorted pests” have continued to swarm — despite both vacation plans and working hours.

      Sarah Palin’s chances of becoming President are the same as Sarah Morgan’s: slim to none. If the former Alaska Governor is ever so stupid as to run, she’ll become the Harold Stassen of the New New Right — always the bridesmaid, never the bride (just like our Lil Dyl). XO, Clio.

  16. Doug
    07/09/2010 at 3:50 PM

    Well, this New York Times columnist, for one, is shocked.

    • former crackho
      07/09/2010 at 4:18 PM

      Ditto for this American Conservative free-lance writer.

      • former crackho
        07/09/2010 at 4:23 PM

        Ooops – I forgot to add “Unpaid Contributer to Fox News” (I frequently tell them to eff off).

  17. Jovan
    07/09/2010 at 4:39 PM

    I’ve lost all respect for this website…this was in very poor taste. 🙁

  18. SavvyG
    07/09/2010 at 4:39 PM

    I think I’d rather see straight news. My heart raced when I read the headline and then when I read President Palin, I knew… I expect breaking news and developments here, not satire although since some enjoy it, perhaps it could be placed elsewehere on the site.

    • Clio
      07/10/2010 at 4:33 PM

      SavvyG, “straight” news about the Swann Street Three would be an added twist, although I cannot see Joe taking a girl to the prom. Victor and Dyl, though, could and probably did “pass”, for a while.

  19. Crispin
    07/09/2010 at 5:40 PM

    I appreciate good satire as much as the next person, but frankly this was kind of confusing and not that amusing…just sayin’

    • leo
      07/09/2010 at 5:49 PM

      Hey, my Golden Retriever puppy (almost 3 now, though) is named Crispin! I love that name, hope you are as handsome as he is.

      • Crispin
        07/10/2010 at 1:28 PM

        I would hope that I am more attractive than someone’s dog.

        • Crispin
          07/10/2010 at 1:31 PM

          Wow…that sounded bitchy.

        • apple
          07/10/2010 at 1:55 PM

          We should all be so lucky to be as handsome as a golden retriever!

          • Leo
            07/10/2010 at 5:11 PM

            Yes, meant no offense, Crispin, only a compliment!

  20. TT
    07/09/2010 at 5:42 PM

    “The law failed the family of Robert Wone.” If this is a true statement from the Judge, what the hell does it mean. Will Robert finally be served justice? Or am I missing something?

  21. Islander
    07/09/2010 at 5:56 PM

    Dismayed to see a much respected website sink to misrepresenting and bashing convervatives. Tacky and offensive. Please stick to real news about the Robert Wone case.

    • david
      07/10/2010 at 11:21 AM


      As the author of the post you deem “tacky and offensive,” for “misrepresenting and bashing conservatives” let me offer a further explanation to my thinking.

      Actually, I agree with the quote that I wrote for Lynn Liebovitz in saying that moral certainty should be a factor when determining BARD, though not the deciding factor.

      If you will notice, her decision says she was “constrained by the law” and that it must be based on evidentiary certainty, which has become the standard for BARD. The only way this could change would be for the Supreme Court to overturn the 1850 case she cites as the basis for her ruling. I believe that this case severely tests the BARD standard, as Judge Liebovitz declared in in her ruling. A judge is not allowed to look at the forest, but can only look at the each evidentiary tree to reach a decision. This is shortsighted.

      I thought I came down squarely on the side of an enhanced conservative judicial disposition. I wrote the piece in satirical prose because I wanted everyone to think about the legal issues arising out of this case.


      • Clio
        07/10/2010 at 12:32 PM

        BTW, can it be true, then, that the same Chief Justice who affirmed the 1850 case for “evidentiary certainty” was Roger Brooke Taney, the infamous author of Dred Scot?

        David, I do find myself agreeing with “conservatives” on “moral certainty”, until, of course, I or a friend or a family member is unjustly accused of a crime. In that unlikely, yet still possible, instance, then, “evidentiary certainty” would be much more comforting and fair. So, while the BARD standard let the defendants go in this case due to bad police work (even if it was probable that they did not disclose everything that they should have), it should remain a protection for everyone, regardless of levels of guilt.

  22. Cat in Cleveland
    07/09/2010 at 8:38 PM

    editors-thanks for the laugh. …thinking people need to lighten up. I found nothing here that was disrespectful to the family of RW. As for those who are critical of the website because it seems, at times, as though one or more of the editors may have formed opinions, I’d like to point out that they have observed a full trial on the merits…

    • cat
      07/10/2010 at 11:26 AM

      My thoughts exactly.

      I saw satire a la The Onion as soon as I read the first few words, and date, of this piece. I don’t spend my time reading The Onion, but I appreciate the alternate perspective satire gives us – think The Daily Show, Al Franken.

  23. Carolina
    07/09/2010 at 9:03 PM

    Look at all the pearl-clutching first time posters! You surely did bring them out of the woodwork.

  24. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    07/09/2010 at 9:18 PM

    I find it interesting that posting an opinion about something as benign as a preference for serious reporting versus satire would garner snide comments from those that have opposing opinions.

    As much respect as I have for the editors of this website, I do not necessarily agree with everything they have ever posted. And I’m sure they understand that my dislike for satirical commentary on this website has nothing to do with them as people, or their skills as bloggers, writers, etc. I think what they have done here is nothing short of brilliant. And courageous. They are blazing new trails in citizen journalism and that is to be admired.

    It may not be okay with the posters to disagree with the editors, but I’m sure it’s okay with the editors.

    • Liam
      07/11/2010 at 1:19 AM

      If you have a preference for serious reporting, read the Enquirer.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        07/13/2010 at 2:31 PM

        I don’t need your approval, Liam. Piss off.

  25. susan
    07/09/2010 at 9:43 PM

    Wow! I’ve noticed a couple of things since I began reading and posting on this site/blog.

    1. Some anonymous posters seem to feel free to be a bit harsh and critical to others in their commentary.
    2. There are a notable number of individuals with a bit of a humor deficit.

    I agree with Hoya Loya (paraphrasing here): Today’s editor’s posting was food for thought and provided some humor. Period. The editors dedicate a lot of time, energy, etc., etc., etc., into this site. And from most of the past postings of theirs that I’ve read, there’s always a bit of flair to them all.

    I didn’t come away from this whimsical posting today with any pointed criticism of conservatives, etc. I focused on the legal terms that were so key to the Judge’s ruling. And also on the most important news of all: Doug’s position at the Times!

    Final thought: I see critical postings from posters I haven’t seen posting here recently. Add some critical discussion to your postings. Get the kind of dialogue going that you want to see. Post some questions about the case. Do some research and perhaps add some new info. Throw in some new theories. If criticizing a lighthearted post is all you’ve got, then you don’t really “got” nothing.

  26. susan
    07/09/2010 at 9:47 PM

    BTW CD in DC, I wasn’t referencing you in my posting above but some of the posters who were unduly harsh and ridiculous and who don’t seem to contribute in any other obvious way.

    Meanwhile, any info. on what the trio were doing after the burnt dinner and water problem on the night in question? Anyone have that info.?

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      07/09/2010 at 9:54 PM

      Thanks Susan. I didn’t think you were directing anything my way. 😀

      Re your last paragraph…..seems like a good couple, three hours before Robert arrived. Unaccounted for. Maybe board games. Seems like a nice family activity.

      • susan
        07/09/2010 at 10:04 PM

        Thanks, CDinDC. I wonder if it is documented anywhere what they told the police about that time period. It seems like it was a very frustrating evening for the three with tension–the unplanned return of VZ, the ruined dinner, the water problem….a guest on the way.

        I wonder (as others have on this site before me) whether VZ’s unscheduled arrival threw a kink into pre-planned events of DW and JP.

      • bigfatmike
        07/09/2010 at 10:58 PM

        ‘Maybe board games. Seems like a nice family activity.’

        What about charades. Isn’t that just a special way of acting out? And it does have the advantage that one person does not say anything.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          07/09/2010 at 11:11 PM

          Ha! Perfect!

  27. susan
    07/09/2010 at 10:37 PM

    Even “gay, vegetarian buddhists” covered this case once upon a time:

    • Clio
      07/10/2010 at 12:53 PM

      Yes, Susan, what happened to their interest? Or, have they simply migrated to our “Island of the Flies”?

      • Susan
        07/10/2010 at 4:15 PM

        I wonder….!

  28. Jackie
    07/09/2010 at 11:04 PM

    Loved all of it, Ed’s! The Headline was all the warning I needed, and I always thought I was the one that was slow on the uptake with satire. Not this time. LOL!

  29. Atticus Finch
    07/10/2010 at 3:08 AM

    Lame. Stick to what you guys have always done best: reporting the facts. You don’t have the chops to talk about legal or policy issues without embarrassing yourselves.

    • Susan
      07/10/2010 at 9:49 PM

      Bad language is a stage all children go through, and it dies with time when they learn they’re not attracting attention with it.”
      – spoken by Atticus Finch, by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird


      •”There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.”
      – spoken by Atticus Finch, by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

      •”Best way to clear the air is to have it all out in the open.”
      – spoken by Atticus Finch, by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird


      “You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anyone says to you, don’t let ‘em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change…it’s a good one, even if it does resist learning.”–Atticus (pg. 76)

      • Susan
        07/10/2010 at 9:51 PM

        I just think the “real” Atticus Finch, Harper Lee’s Atticus Finch, should speak for himself.

      • bigfatmike
        07/11/2010 at 12:55 AM

        ’50 years after its debut, ‘Mockingbird’ still sings
        A half century ago today, the first edition of Harper Lee’s tale of a 6-year-old girl in a small Southern town rolled off the presses. Forty million copies later, those presses show no signs of slowing.
        “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the story of a feisty tomboy entering a world packed with towering moral dilemmas, has never been out of print and has cemented its role as an American classic. The book, named the “Best Novel of the Century” in a 1999 poll of librarians, has racked up an impressive list of accolades for its author, including a Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.’

        Pretty clear that you are a fan, so you must be very mush aware of this. But just in case….

        Kind of funny we would be having his discussion on the 50th anniversary.

        Well, play nice.

        • QQS
          07/11/2010 at 2:25 AM

          Wow, BFM, thanks for bringing this tale back to life…very timely and much appreciated.

        • Clio
          07/11/2010 at 2:13 PM

          Thanks, Susan and BFM for those relevant quotes and that historical context. Harper Lee and her friend Truman Capote would have approved!

        • Craig
          07/11/2010 at 4:11 PM

          Much thanks for the Mockingbird quotes, from two of us who had a tomboy of a hound named ‘Scout.’

          • Susan
            07/11/2010 at 11:53 PM

            Glad you liked those, Clio and Craig. So many wonderful quotes from that book (Harper Lee) and it seemed that the “real” Atticus needed to weigh in (rather than the one posting as AF).

  30. former crackho
    07/10/2010 at 3:20 AM

    Or, anyone could start their own website and post exactly what they prefer to read.

    Grrrr. Don’t mean to sound grouchy. I hate insomnia. Perhaps some Lunesta and Lexapro may do the trick…

    • Bea
      07/10/2010 at 8:04 AM

      Love this.

  31. 07/10/2010 at 4:50 PM

    Wow, if she gets the most electoral college votes, I will demand a recount and ask David Boies to intervene!
    If her election is upheld, I am selling my place on Longboat Key and moving to Europe for sure!
    In any case, I did a search on why the Secret Service was involved in this case and couldt not find the answer.
    It is my understanding that the Secret Serrvice nnly becomes involved in Federal protection cases or cases of credit card fraud, etc.
    Perhaps the fact that DC is a Federal enclave had something to do with it, any answers on this topic?


    • Bill 2
      07/10/2010 at 11:22 PM

      Yes, your guess is correct, elisabethvon. The Secret Service and FBI crime labs assist police in the Federal district.

  32. incredulous
    07/11/2010 at 3:00 PM

    This posting is utterly inappropriate and just plain stupid. This is a serious murder case, where a real person died, and a real family is still tormented by the failure of the justice process to put someone in jail. For you it is apparently entertainment, and perhaps an opportunity to throw in your political views, albeit obliquely.

    The “tale of two trials” posting was also inappropriate, but this is much worse and just plain bizarre. Honestly, shut this site down if this is the kind of garbage you plan to post to keep up what you evidently now consider an entertainment site. You apparently are oblivious to how damaging this post is to the seriousness, respect, and credibility of this site. It’s like you are on self-destruct.

    It is beyond me how you decided it was ok to post this.

    • Clio
      07/11/2010 at 4:00 PM

      Incredulous, satire is an acquired taste, but then again so is poetry and opera. If you don’t like it, or if you don’t get it, move along. David’s piece was semi-entertaining at best, but it dealt with serious, relevant legal issues in an accessible format open to people of diverse professional backgrounds.

      And, I’m sure that the (former?) trouple’s current set of defense attorneys, among others, would like nothing more than for the Editors to throw in the towel after a mixed set of reviews on one post on a Friday in summer. But even they do not expect that to happen.

      • incredulous
        07/11/2010 at 4:20 PM

        Sorry, but calling this lame peice “satire’, as if that redeems it or makes it appropriate is a flimsy defense. I, and I suspect many others don’t think satire is appropriate in this case. Moreover, it is ridiculous to try to discuss serious issues through a peice like this. The editors should stick to the facts, as someone said. If not, the site will lose credibility. Maybe it already has. I really wouldn’t care but I think it’s insensitive to the Wones.

        • Craig
          07/11/2010 at 4:25 PM

          Incred: Your criticism is welcome but your multiple screen names are not. It damages your credibility, so don’t waste a moment thinking about ours.

          • AnnaZed
            07/11/2010 at 11:42 PM

            I love it when internet socks have conversations with themselves, always in firm agreement (amazingly enough), always the same syntax and errors and (I suppose) always the same assumption that those that are reading are stupid. Sometimes they pick the wrong venue though and it just doesn’t work like they assumed that it would.

            • incredulous
              07/12/2010 at 8:01 PM

              So dumb

    • Michael
      07/12/2010 at 7:26 AM

      Maybe Joe Price should be “shut down” for making the “utterly inappropriate and just plain stupid” stabbing motions toward Kathy Wone.

      Honestly though, this is just a website. Not an official news outlet. The editors can post whatever they want. A post like this isn’t damaging to anyone except people like you. When the discussion of facts has been exhausted, there’s nothing wrong with speculating what might happen next.

      Any post that brings out the haters is alright in my book.

  33. incredulous
    07/11/2010 at 3:03 PM

    This was very well put:

    “Atticus Finch on 07/10/2010 at 3:08 AM

    Lame. Stick to what you guys have always done best: reporting the facts. You don’t have the chops to talk about legal or policy issues without embarrassing yourselves.”

    I’ve cringed a number of times at the fumbling on this site in dealing with substantive issues, but this latest post just makes it all too clear you guys are getting in over your heads.

  34. Rich
    07/11/2010 at 3:22 PM

    Tough crowd! At a ballgame on the I Phone. Playing our worst game ever and we have played some bad games. But, a break for WMRW. We need to lighten up on another. Everyone cares about this case for one reason or another. Attacking each other is not civil or appropriate.

    Bases are now loaded…

  35. 07/11/2010 at 8:40 PM

    Hi Everybody,
    I have lived in DC a long time, 20+ years, and the “drama” is still the same, just the names of the “players” change.
    Who would have thought that Al Franken would be a Member of the World’s Most Exclusive Club in the year 2010? Surely, not when he was a star on the “old” SNL in the 80’s?
    BTW, what do the colored graphics mean next to the post? I did a search and couldn’t find the answer?
    Hope it is not some code for another DC Spy Ring?
    Thanks everyone and have a cool and productive week!

    • Clio
      07/11/2010 at 9:32 PM

      No, the graphics are for one’s own distinctive caftan pattern, as per Craig’s suggestion. The most tech-savvy have their own chosen “gravatars” instead. Both “gravatars” and/or graphics identify posters, and they are most alluring to the eye.

      • Bill 2
        07/12/2010 at 8:15 PM

        But it didn’t work well for Bill Orange. His pattern is fuchsia, but I’ve got the orange color.

  36. Diversity
    07/11/2010 at 9:29 PM

    I have been an avid reader of the posts, comments, and documents and links provided by the Editors and others on this site. Thank you all. I never met Robert, but I think about him nearly everyday and his wife and family because of this website. They deserve justice and I remain at the ready to continue pressing the City to not let this remain unsolved. This website has done something real. I appreciated today’s post because it was educational. Yup. That is my opinion. Incidentally, I have practiced law for over a decade.

    • Jo
      07/12/2010 at 2:54 AM

      Thank you for your post, Diversity. I hope there are many people who are in a position to pressure law enforcement to solve this case. I hope one of them is Eric Holder.

  37. Lee
    07/12/2010 at 8:08 AM

    This was a silly and inappropriate post. It has to stop. No one appreciates humor more than I do . . . well, my wife does . . . and so does my neighbor . . . and I guess that Joe Price does . . . and then there’s the judge . . .

  38. 07/13/2010 at 3:48 PM

    Thanks for the update in re: the graphics and their respective colors. Craig is very talented to create this scheme, I am just sorry that I didn’t get the royal purple since I am von.
    Hope that everyone on this forum has a productive and cool week as we continue to learn more about this case.
    elisabeth von

    • AnnaZed
      07/13/2010 at 4:01 PM

      Well, I decided to change mine just to fuck with ya’ll.

      • AnnaZed
        07/13/2010 at 4:02 PM

        Humm, except it didn’t work.

        • AnnaZed
          07/13/2010 at 4:03 PM

          Ah, there ~ way more steps involved to do that then there strictly speaking needs to be.

          • Kate
            07/13/2010 at 4:14 PM


  39. AnnaZed
    09/28/2010 at 7:49 PM

    This is a malicious phishing spam post, do not click on that link!

Comments are closed.