Unanimous Verdict As Jury Finds NY Times Did Not Defame Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin has lost her libel case against the New York Times as a jury unanimously decided she and her legal team did not prove any actual malice in regard to a 2017 editorial.

A jury has unanimously ruled half-term governor of Alaska Sarah Palin did not prove there was any ‘actual malice’ in her libel case against the New York Times.

This comes a day after the judge announced he would dismiss the case anyway, saying she had not met the high legal standard required in libel cases involving public figures and journalists.

From the Washington Post:

The jury’s decision conforms with the one made by U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff. On Monday, he told lawyers for Palin and the Times that he would formally dismiss the former Alaska governor’s claim once the jury returned its verdict.

But since he expected his ruling to be appealed — a process that could alter long-standing protections afforded journalists writing about public figures — Rakoff explained that he wanted future courts to have both his ruling and a jury verdict to consider.

The case began when, following the June 2017 shooting at a Republican lawmakers baseball game where Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was injured, the New York Times drafted an op-ed mentioning an earlier shooting that targeted then-Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) and left 6 people dead.

The Times noted that prior to the Giffords shooting, Palin’s PAC had circulated a map of Democratic districts to be “targeted” using stylized cross-hairs.

The Times op-ed originally wrote, “The link to political incitement was clear.”

In that there was no direct evidence the Arizona shooter had been influenced by that map, the Times immediately issued a correction to the piece. In the  Palin case, the Times’ lawyers pointed to that retraction as proof there was no “actual malice.”