Siegelman's Proposed Sentence Longer than the Average for Murder in Alabama
The Siegelman case is all over the media -- although conveniently everyone has left out the part about Simpson's house being burned down and her being run off the road. Why have they left that little detail out of these stories, I wonder? Ah, that liberal media! Up to their old tricks again, huh?
Anyway, here's a nice link to a summary of the case. A thirty year sentence would be longer than the average time served by a murderer in Alabama. Apparently the case involved some circus-like number of charges and only a couple of them stuck.
Oh yeah, and we've got another suspicious prosecution, a la Bradley Schlozman, that appears timed to take Siegelman out of the picture for the 2006 election cycle. Look at this sequence of events:
Siegelman lost his reelection bid in 2003 by the narrowest margin in Alabama history to a former Republican congressman, Bob Riley, who had backing from Abramoff, the Bush White House and a broad array of Republicans.
Siegelman immediately laid plans to reclaim his old seat, but in 2004 he was indicted on bid-rigging charges by the Bush-appointed U.S. attorney in Birmingham, Ala., Alice Martin.
On the first day of the October 2004 trial, the judge ended the case with a scathing order rejecting prosecution evidence.
Despite the rebuke, investigators joined forces with the Montgomery U.S. attorney's office to develop a series of charges against the former governor.
One month before the 2006 Democratic primary, Siegelman was brought to trial on charges of bribery, obstruction of justice, racketeering and organized crime activity. The latter charges, which require special approval from the criminal division of the Justice Department, were rejected by the jury.
Siegelman was convicted on the obstruction and bribery counts alone.
Here's another article that includes this rather eye-opening comment from Siegelman about the bizarre harsh sentence the prosecution is asking for:
"The government doesn't contend I ever put a penny in my pocket, and they're asking for a life sentence," Siegelman said. "For the Republican governor who actually stole $200,000, Mr. Feaga did not ask for a day in prison, not a day."
However, like the idiocy in Wisconsin a while back, I expect this one is a loser on appeal. There's a possibility, like in the Wisconsin case, that the conviction will be reversed on appeal.
Heck, the guy who he appointed to the board (in an act of supposed corruption) had served in that board position under THREE other governors. Give me a break.
This all really does make Alabama look like a banana republic. This has all the appearances of a show trial that served Unka Karl's purposes for the 2006 elections.
Isn't this pretty scary, folks? I'm reminded of all of these folks in 2000 who told me about the two parties "They're both the same. They're all alike."
Um, no. I would contend they're not.
Between the horrific war and the obviously politicized justice system, I'm pretty sure most Americans now know that.
UPDATE Here's a link to Scott Horton's latest post at Harper's about the Siegelman case.
He gets it:
I get a chuckle reading in what pass for newspapers down in Alabama that the “flap” over the conviction of former Governor Don Siegelman is all just so much protesting from “Democrats.” However, the facts are different. No political party in America has a monopoly on corruption, but when one political party gets its hands on too much of the machinery of government, and is free to act unchecked, the tendency to corruption builds. Indeed, it becomes irresistible. It was recognition of this fact that forms the true genius of the system that the American Framers created – by carefully balancing the powers of government between three different branches, and then between a central federal government and the states, they intended to limit the power that any one faction could ever wield. And back in the days when conservatives really were conservatives, they appreciated the beauty of this system and its promise of a less intrusive government and thus more liberty. Now, of course, the world is turned upside down.
You should read the rest.
UPDATE 2 Here's a link to today's Siegelman sentencing update. This hearing may go on for the rest of the week. I'll keep watching it.
UPDATE 3 Here's my latest post on the Siegelman case.