Saturday, July 07, 2007

While rich Republican representative Thomas Ravenel lounges in an Arizona spa, his co-defendant languishes in prison.

This is a joke:

Suspended state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel and his co-defendant in a federal cocaine conspiracy indictment pleaded not guilty Friday, and both were granted unsecured bonds.

Ravenel, 44, is undergoing treatment at an Arizona drug rehabilitation center and was not at the 30-minute hearing.

Miller was brought into the federal courtroom wearing a blue and white striped jumpsuit from the Charleston County Detention Center, his hands in cuffs and linked by a chain to his waist. When McCrorey held up his right hand asking Miller to swear to a financial affidavit, Miller paused as he looked at his handcuffs and chains.

Poor defendant? In a jumpsuit in a courtroom. Rich defendant? In a swimsuit at a spa.

During the hearing, Miller sat with a public defender, who asked the judge to speak slowly and loudly because his client was hard of hearing. At one point, as McCrorey was reading the conditions of Miller's bond release, Miller interrupted him.

"Again, I can barely hear you," he told the judge.

Ravenel's lawyers, led by former U.S. Attorney Bart Daniel, sat at the other end of the table.

Poor defendant? Public defender. Rich defendant? Former federal prosecutor.

U.S. Attorney Reginald Lloyd rejected any notion afterward that the two men were being treated differently by the federal judicial system.

"They'll both get very good representation," Lloyd told reporters. "They'll both be treated fairly, not only by us but by the courts."

Lloyd declined to say when Miller would get his own personal defense team, led by a former U.S. Attorney. I'm sure it's soon, perhaps after his and Bart Daniel's dinner at the club.