Sarah Palin to Testify in TN E-Mail Hacking Trial

The trial of 22 year old David Kernell, charged with hacking into Sarah Palin's e-mail account, is underway. Palin will be a witness. Her husband and daughter Bristol may also be witnesses.

Tennessee is heavily Republican and the defense fears Palin will unduly influence the jury. The judge refused to allow the defense to voir dire the jury on wehther they have strong feelings about Palin.

The defense says Kernell had no criminal intent and it was all a prank. He's facing a maximum of 50 years on 4 felony charges. [More...]

And here's an odd phrase for an Associated Press news article.

Pre-trial maneuvering by the defense showed concern that some jurors in heavily Republican East Tennessee could be dazzled when the conservative star testifies.

Maneuvering? Does he mean motions? What a poor choice of words, they need to fix that.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Probably reversible error not to allow (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 07:33:48 PM EST
    some voir dire re Palin family as witnesses/victims and whether juror says can be fair.

    I sure hope so (none / 0) (#7)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 11:01:55 PM EST
    Good grief.

    Agreed (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 09:19:00 AM EST
    He wasn't doing this for whistleblowing purposes and it was her private e-mail account. If the state of Alaska is concerned about her using it for state business, let the state of Alaska look into that issue separately.  

    He's facing 50 years and a guy who sells (none / 0) (#2)
    by tigercourse on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 07:39:53 PM EST
    meth faced a max of 10? That seems a little wrong to me.

    actually (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 10:38:06 PM EST
    Cameron Douglas faced a mandatory minimum of ten and a maximum of life.

    There is little logic in the punishment scale (none / 0) (#4)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 09:18:45 PM EST
    However, the man is an adult and he did hack into the email account of the sitting Governor of a state who also happened to be a VP candidate. Kind of a mini-watergate. Pranks are pulled by friends on friends.

    Is that 50 year number the total if guilty on all charges and given consecutive sentences? Isn't there a chance, if found guilty on more than one count, the sentence would be concurrent? Should he walk away without anything? If he had hacked into Obama's email, would he get away with calling his actions a "prank"?

    Then there's the little matter that she's the victim. Can they have her testify via internet conferencing to limit the distraction of who she is in case some of her fans get seated on the jury? Our courts are doing more and more video hearings to save money (and reduce the risk of problems) in transporting the accused from jail to court.

    I sure would hate it if our political leaders were subjected to email hacking without significant consequences to the hackers (corporations looking for information, people looking for ways to bribe, opponents and lobbyists trying to get the inside information on how they plan to vote, etc.)


    the private email account (none / 0) (#5)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 10:24:37 PM EST
    not the governmental one (which is a big difference), and one that she used to illegally conducted State business- its similar to the DOD guy who leaked information- what he did is illegal but should be balanced with public interest concerns.

    Pre-trial maneuvering by the defense (none / 0) (#3)
    by diogenes on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 08:32:21 PM EST
    This reporter speaks plainly.  Calling legal maneuvering "motions" is just a euphemism.
    If it was an innocent prank, maybe he would have said "Hello" or "Drill, Sarah, Drill" rather than piling on the profanities as was alleged.
    Fifty years is the max; what is the minimum for a first time felony offender and is probation possible?    

    They have reason to be nervous (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 06:50:43 AM EST
    The defendant is the son of a Democratic state senator.  That being said, and whether people like it or not, she is the victim in all of this - and the people with whom she had private communications.  Whether or not she improperly used this account for state business is completely irrelevant to this case as the defendant is not a member of law enforcement and did not have a warrant - there is no "public's right to know" argument here.  Even the defendant said it was a prank.

    Don't let PDS confuse the issues.


    Although (none / 0) (#10)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 09:19:30 AM EST
    I agree that 50 years seems like a breathtakingly high sentence for a nonviolent crime.

    50 years (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 09:43:18 AM EST
    May be excessive, but a) this isn't "victimless" and b) he's been charged with 4 crimes, including wire tapping and identity theft.

    Correction (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 09:44:31 AM EST
    "wire fraud" not wire tapping

    given ms. palin's high profile, (none / 0) (#13)
    by cpinva on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 10:45:05 AM EST
    why do i feel that the judge's refusal to allow the defense to question potential jurors, regarding their affinity for her, will come back to haunt the state, should he be found guilty?

    i have no sympathy for ms. palin, but what this guy did was an obvious violation of her privacy, something that shouldn't happen to anyone.

    deterrence (none / 0) (#16)
    by diogenes on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 07:37:57 PM EST
    Many reasonable prosecutors would throw the book at this guy to deter other jokers from hacking politicians' private email accounts.  A slap on the wrist won't accomplish much.