Thursday, March 27, 2008

Nine months with Feds but Don walks tomorrow

Justice was delayed but Don Siegelman finally got at least a little. CNN, MSNBC, the Gray Lady, ... all report that he's being cut loose pending his appeals. Clearly he's no flight risk and the 11th believes "substantial questions" about his conviction have been raised. Take that Judge Mark Fuller! Via the NYT you can actually read the Court's opinion. It reads well for what's there and also for what's not. They don't go so far as using "learned trial judge" (which is a way that appeals courts at times identify "the jackass who screwed up") yet it is always significant to reverse a matter that's mostly left with a trial judge's discretion. The 11th just couldn't give Judge Fuller's "reasoning" the normal pass.

And to think the Mobile Press-Register tried to defend the denial of the normal bond pending appeal as being backed by "sound legal arguments". Asking why it took so long for Judge Fuller to actually explain his reasoning, only doing so because the 11th forced him to, twice actually I think, wasn't tackled by the MPR. The B'ham News opined "there's precious little reason to believe justice wasn't served when a jury found him guilty" as well. Apparently, the claim from David Prather of the Huntsville Times that Don is "relatively guilty" wasn't considered by the 11th Circuit. Reckon the three Newhouse Advance Publications papers will feature an eating of crow in the morning? Or will they rely on more sleights of hand?

State Representative Mike Hubbard, the chairman of the Alabama GOP, had the gall to suggest "It would be premature to turn this development into anything other than a formality." (A formality? Is that sort of like you telling people that you'd serve no more than one or two terms when you first ran Mike?) When Don gets to DC for a little chat with Congress perhaps that will merit something a little less haughty from the right wing apologists and operators. I get 333 Google hits via Google News for the story of his release so it would appear there is some interest out there.

I'm so happy for Don and his family. John Gunn

UPDATE ~ Attorney General Michael Mukasey's timing couldn't have been better as he "vowed anew Thursday to crack down on crooked politicians and public officials, dismissing critics who accuse the Justice Department of letting partisan loyalties interfere with corruption cases."

UPDATE ~ March 31, 2008 - Rep. Artur Davis has sent Rep. John Conyers, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, a letter expressing concerns about Don Siegelman testifying. At one point I understood Don was ready to appear and yet even then I wondered if that was wise. Congressman Davis points ou the dangers of him testifying given the ongoing nature of his case.

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