Roger Stone has just been convicted of seven felonies. Due to his high profile he’s likely headed to solitary confinement, which is notorious for causing prisoners to age quickly. Given his advanced age and the likelihood that he’ll be sentenced to at least a couple years in prison, the odds are that he may never see freedom again. So what could be even worse than that?
If Roger Stone was somehow going to get off, it was never going to be at the hands of the jury. They were always going to convict him, because the charges against him were straightforward and the evidence was overwhelming. His only shot at freedom was if he managed to worm his way out of a conviction with some kind of procedural move. Accordingly, Stone took his shot by asking the judge to simply throw out the jury’s guilty verdict.
To the surprise of no one except perhaps Roger Stone himself, the judge has rejected that motion. This leaves Stone largely out of options. He can try taking his case to appeals court, but there’s nothing for him to appeal – and doing so likely won’t delay the start of his prison sentence.
Roger Stone can try to pressure Donald Trump into pardoning him, by using some of the dirt that he’s surely amassed on Trump during their decades-long friendship. People like Stone always keep insurance against people like Trump. But given that Stone’s secondary residence in New York was also raided during his arrest, there’s a strong chance New York has state-level charges lined up against Stone in case Trump gives him a federal pardon. Stone just doesn’t have a foreseeable way out of this. His attempt at getting the judge to throw out the conviction was the longest of long shots, but it may have been the best shot he had left at avoiding prison.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report