March 6, 2009
Siegelman-Scrushy Opinion & Commentary
As noted here, the 11th Circuit issued its decision in the appellate case involving former Governor Don Siegelman and former CEO of HealthSouth Richard Scrushy. Some of the key points in the decision -
- the court found sufficient evidence "that a reasonable juror could have concluded that Siegelman and Scrushy explicitly agreed to a corrupt quid pro quo"
- the government did not prove that "Siegelman knew that Scrushy intended to defraud Alabama of his honest services while on the Board and that Siegelman personally intended to participate in this fraud."
- although the jury was exposed to extrinsic evidence, it was harmless and the court "did not abuse its discretion in holding that there was no reasonable possibility of prejudice to the defendants arising out of the exposure of the jury to this extrinsic evidence and denying the motion for a new trial"
The court affirmed Scrushy's convictions and reversed two counts of Seigelman's convictions. Seigelman gets a resentencing because of the reversal of Counts 8 and 9.
What happens now? Scrushy and Seigelman have the next step to go - asking for an en banc hearing and perhaps a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court. But the political arena may be the avenue that we hear the most noise from in the immediate future, as Karl Rove is scheduled to appear before the House Judiciary Committee. See Huffington Post, Karl Rove Agrees to Testify
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It is both anomalous and hypocritical for the federal courts to permit a corruptly motivated prosecution of a political opponent for his allegedly corrupt motivation in making a political appointment. The Siegleman holding in essence states that the jury verdict, however corruptly sought, immunizes the partisan perversion of justice perpetrated by the Alabama Republican legal apparatchiks and Karl Rove, their puppetmaster.
Posted by: Glenn Becker | Mar 8, 2009 11:49:33 AM