The tainted U.S. attorney’s office in Montgomery is sticking by its case against former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy and has now filed its brief with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta asking that the case be upheld, although most informed legal sources now recognize that it was a strictly political prosecution from the outset.
The brief disputes the arguments made by attorneys for Siegelman and Scrushy in their appeal brief, the main focus of which is whether there was an explicit quid pro quo to support convictions for “bribery.”
On the issue of juror misconduct, for reading news coverage of the case online and communicating with other members of the jury via e-mail, the prosecutors claim there was an investigation of that, even though they admitted recently they never told the defense lawyers about it and the judge utterly failed to conduct due diligence to investigate.
Siegelman’s main attorney, Vince Kilborn, told the AP Monday that he doesn’t believe the government brief hurt the chances of his client and Scrushy winning on appeal.
“The government has not dented the basic argument that in a political setting it is required to prove an explicit quid pro quo,” Kilborn said. And he said the trial judge, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller, given a lifetime appointment by President George W. Bush in 2002 just in time to try the case, never fully investigated if the purported e-mails were authentic.
Lawyers for Siegelman and Scrushy now have 45 days to reply to the filing by the Bush prosecution team. The three-judge panel in Atlanta has indicated it expects to hold oral arguments in the appeal after studying the briefs from both sides.
© 2008 – 2012, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.