March 27, 2008
Former Alabama Governor Siegelman Released Pending Appeal
Gov. Don Siegelman was ordered released from prison on bail pending appeal. This is in sharp contrast to his being taken immediately to prison as opposed to other white collar and not-likely-to-flee offenders. The court did not give the same relief to Richard Scrushy. Birmingham News here.
There was no question - Siegelman was not a flight risk - so the first prong of the test for bail pending appeal was easy. The second prong was also met as the court held that he "specifically met his burden of showing that his appeal raises substantial questions of law or fact." The court did not provide explicit language as to what the substantial questions were.
Interestingly, this all happened around the same time as the judiciary committee wanted Siegelman released to testify before Congress. See here. There is no doubt that this will be a hearing to watch. Key issues likely to be discussed will be whether politics ruled this prosecution, why was the former governor prosecuted while others were not, and was this prosecution in some way related to the "attorney firings."
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