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Libby trial judge refuses to answer jury level of proof question

[JURIST] US District Judge Reggie B. Walton [official profile] refused to answer a jury question [JURIST report] Monday in the I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense website; JURIST news archive] trial on the level of proof that would have to be met to find the former vice presidential aide guilty. The jury wanted to know whether in order to satisfy the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt they had to find it would not be "humanly possible" for Libby to completely forget conversations which witnesses had testified took place. The jury resumed deliberations Monday after Walton said the question was too vague to be properly answered.

Lawyers made their final arguments [JURIST report] last Tuesday, with the defense arguing that Libby was a scapegoat for presidential aide Karl Rove's disclosures. In its final remarks the prosecution argued that Libby was merely trying to cover up a potentially illegal intelligence leak of former undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. Libby is not charged with leaking Plame's identity, but instead faces perjury and obstruction of justice charges [indictment, PDF ; JURIST report] in connection with the investigation into the leak. Reuters has more.

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