Scott Horton, of Harper's.org, presents a splendid recap of recent events in the Don Siegelman case. Key points:
* Siegelman's appeal is being delayed because a transcript is not available. And whose responsibility is it to ensure that a transcript is available? U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller.
* The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has instructed Fuller that his explanation was not sufficient for denying Siegelman's release pending appeal. Horton notes a Tuscaloosa News editorial saying it appears the denial of Siegelman's release was done to ensure he received some punishment on a shaky conviction. Good point by the Tuscaloosa newspaper. I would expand on that point a bit. I think it was designed to send a message to Democrats in Alabama: If you dare to be successful politically in this state, you will pay. And I would suggest that a similar message is being sent with the Paul Minor case in Mississippi: If you dare to be successful in courtrooms against corporations and other business interests, you will pay.
* Horton's sources say the Department of Justice is discouraging further media statements from Montgomery-based U.S. attorney Louis Franklin. Evidently the DOJ has grown increasingly uncomfortable with Franklin's bizarre public statements.
* Horton does a masterful job of taking apart a shoddy editorial from David Prather from the Huntsville Times. Horton sums up Prather's rant: "Don't bother me with the facts, I know the guy's a crook." Perhaps the strangest part of Prather's piece is his reference to some unnamed person who apparently made allegations against a public official that did not hold up under scrutiny. "Who is he talking about? What allegations?" Horton writes. "All very mysterious. My guess of course is that it's Jill Simpson he's talking about, but who knows what the allegations are? He won't tell us."
After reading the editorial, your humble blogger sent Prather an e-mail offering to show him plenty of evidence regarding wrongdoing by GOP state judges in Alabama. It is evidence that most certainly will stand up to scrutiny, and I invited Mr. Prather or a reporter from the Times to contact me. No response from the Rocket City so far. I will keep you updated.