Local Democrats React to Siegelman Re-Sentencing

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) –  Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman has been re-sentenced to 78 months in prison for his corruption conviction. The decision left many Alabama Democrats shaking their heads.

Madison County Democratic Party Chairman Clete Wetli told WHNT News 19 the judges decision has left many democrats, "heartbroken."

"Regardless of what you believe in the guilt or innocence of Don Siegelman, this is a person who has more to offer," Wetli said.

U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller issued the ruling shortly after 2:30 p.m.  The hearing started Friday at 9 a.m.  Defense attorneys called several character witnesses to the stand, who asked for leniency for Siegelman.  Siegelman also took the stand and begged the judge for mercy.

In addition to Siegelman’s prison time, the judge also issued the following punishments:

  • A $50,000 fine
  • Three years supervised probation, once Siegelman is released
  • 500 hours of community service

Siegelman showed no emotion as the sentence was read.  The defense immediately objected, saying the sentence was “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Judge Fuller said Siegelman could file an appeal within 14 days.

Wetli says he hopes Siegelman's defense team will appeal the decision.

Read our courtroom updates from earlier in the day.