U.S. Supreme Court Considers Former Governor Don Siegelman’s Appeal
Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman is hoping he’ll get his day before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The justices reviewed his and former CEO of HealthSouth Richard Scrushy’s requests for an appeal on Thursday. They could come to a decision on whether to hear the case as early as Monday.
Siegelman’s legal team sees this as a chance to not only clear Siegelman’s name, but change the way cases of corruption and bribery are treated in the courts.
In 2006, a Montgomery jury found Siegelman guilty after hearing a witness testify that he heard Siegelman and Richard Scrushy strike a deal. He claims that deal was $500,000 in exchange for Scrushy’s appointment to the state Health Board.
Siegelman supporters say there needs to be a higher standard of proof before prosecutors can pursue these cases. They also believe the charges were politically motivated, because they came at a time when George W. Bush was president.
However, the Obama justice department has seemed to side with the prosecution. In 2009, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the counts of bribery, conspiracy, and obstruction against Siegelman and denied his request for a new trial.
If the Supreme Court denies his request for an appeal, Siegelman could find himself once again facing a judge in Alabama.
Siegelman has been out of prison as he awaits his appeal. Scrushy was released from Federal Prison in April. He is scheduled to be released from a Houston halfway house on July 25th.