The prosecutor did not foresee the firestorm this case would create. Had these two BP men been traditional criminals, the (perhaps overly) slick lawyering used to nail them would probably have been applauded by the very same people now in various stages of outrage (including me.)
Unfortunately, now Sutton is actually benefitting from the controversy and confusion swirling around the case! He, and the other agencies caught off base by the popular reaction, are rather cagily trying to control and direct the release of information, and disinformation, as much as they can. Evidently, they may have gone too far with it, though, by misdirecting congress.
That, and the original decision to prosecute, of course, are the most disturbing aspects of the whole tawdry affair. Guilty or innocent, these BP Agents should be free pending appeal, which I believe to be a necessary first step in reaching a workable deal.
Maybe the 5th Circuit will see it that way, as erton suggests. However, this ain't no 9th circuit... i.e. they are usually, I hear tell, rather pro-prosecutor.
I'm surprised the are not out pending appeal, but I don't know how often people are out pending appeal.
I remember Martha Stewart was not out while pending appeal, at the time I think the talking heads said the appeal had little chance so she figured it was better to get the sentence over with than wait a year under a cloud and then have to go to jail.