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Thanks to her new lawyer and the good sense to ditch her former legal team, Yekaterina Samutsevich became the first member of Pussy Riot to walk free Wednesday. "The punishment for an incomplete crime is much lighter than for a completed one ... She did not participate in the actions the court found constituted hooliganism," Samutsevich's new lawyer, Irina Khrunova, was quoted as saying in an AP report.

In an argument not unlike something you'd see from an episode of The Good Wife, Khrunova said that a security guard had stopped Samutsevich before she could join in the anti-Putin punk "prayer" protest at Christ the Savior Cathedral, so her client didn't get to fully participate in the "hooliganism" the band was found guilty of, and therefore she didn't deserve the full, two-year sentence that came with the other members' hooliganism. It worked. "The three-judge panel agreed, suspending her sentence but warning that if she violated the terms she would be returned to jail. Ms. Samutsevich, smiling, was released in the courtroom," reports The Wall Street Journal's Gregory White.

Khrunova's success today makes Samutsevich's decision to fire her legal team on October 1 look like a great one. At the time Samutsevich's call seemed like a curveball; no one really knew why she'd dismissed her three lawyers. Prosecutors called it a delay tactic, one expert told the AP it was a PR stunt, and at the time Samutsevich, as the AP reported, just described the firings as an "unspecified disagreement." Now maybe it all makes sense. The three-judge panel upheld the two-year sentences on the other two members of Pussy Riot Wednesday. 

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