Thursday, July 24, 2008

More on the Siegelman Matter

Noted here were articles reporting on some of the latest happenings in former Governor Siegelman's case.  But it looks like there is even more to discuss. The Chief of the Appellate Section Criminal Division sent a letter earlier in July informing Siegelman's attorneys that there had been an investigation of emails received by some jurors and that the judge had been informed by the U.S. Marshals Service "that the Postal Inspectors were investigating the receipt of purported emails by co-workers of the two jurors and had concluded that the purported emails were not authentic..."  One has to give high marks to the Chief of the Appellate Section of DOJ's Criminal Division for disclosing this information to defense counsel. 

But one also has to wonder why it was not disclosed prior to this time by those affiliated with the case in the trial court. In a letter to the Office of Professional Responsibility of DOJ, questions are raised concerning this recent disclosure.  Was there an ex parte communication by DOJ with the judge presiding on this matter? And if there was, will this make a difference to former Governor Siegelman's case? Having full discovery is important to someone defending an individual, most importantly because it allows defense counsel to scrutinize what occurred and question the individuals on their findings.  Having knowledge of a DOJ finding allows defense counsel the ability to investigate further and also allows for the chance to cross-examine those making the findings. 

The Letters -  Download KilbornOPR.pdf

(esp) (w/ a hat tip to Professor Peter Henning)

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