U.S. Supreme Court Rebuffs Former Governor’s Appeal

It may be back to prison again for a former Alabama governor.

Former Alabama Governor, Don Siegelman,  was told today by the U.S. Supreme Court that it won’t hear  his nor HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy’s appeals.   Mary Orndorff, a Birmingham News writer, said the two men had asked the justices to review the standard for proving when a regular political contribution becomes a bribe of an elected official.

It will be up to a federal judge in Montgomery whether Siegelman returns to prison,  Another request also is still pending for Siegelman as he has asked for a new trial, and that decision is still pending by U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller.

Scrushy has nearly completed his sentence.  Both Siegelman and Scrushy were convicted in 2006 for exchanging $500,000 in donations to Siegelman’s lottery campaign for Scrushy’s appointment to a state health board.  The evidence in this case included testimony from an aide stating that Siegelman suggested the $500,000 figure to a lobbyist as a way for Scrushy to make amends for supporting his 1998 campaign opponent – $350,000 “plus interest”, the state aide said.

The 11th Court of Appeals is holding Siegelman on the bribery charge as it found that, while there has to be an  agreement to swap money and action, it doesn’t have to be said orally and also that the jury members can interpret the actions of defendants in determining whether there was a corrupt deal, the court ruled.

According to Orndorff, in the online community, a few people were disappointed in the outcome, but for the most part, most people seem to feel Siegelman should be returned to prison. 

One online commentator writes that maybe we take pleasure in seeing a corrupt guy get what he deserves,and also that  JUSTICE is what some like to call it!! 

Another commentator felt sorry for the former governor and said that he was sorry to read this, and that I hope the judge in the case will resentence him to time served.  He also wrote that he feels the former governor does not belong in prison. 

It will be up to the federal judge in Montgomery to determine whether Siegelman will be returned to prison or if he will be freed.