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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Judge Mark Fuller Was A Crook In His Professional Life Before Becoming A Thug In His Personal Life


Don Siegelman
Another Alabama newspaper has called on wife-beating federal judge Mark Fuller to be removed from the bench. We know of at least four state newspapers who have called on Fuller to resign, but the Dothan Eagle took it a step further: It called for Fuller's impeachment.

But like the other editorials, there is something missing from the Eagle's piece. It ignores Fuller's unethical conduct on the bench, while focusing only on his shortcomings as a husband and private citizen.

Those who paid close attention to Fuller's most famous case--the prosecution of former Governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy--know Fuller was a public crook long before he became known as a private thug.

Fuller has been a bad judge for years, and he should be removed from the bench for that reason. But judges are pretty much untouchable for their corrupt acts from the bench, except on those rare occasions when the U.S. Department of Justice pursues criminal charges against them. The legal community usually binds together to protect corrupt judges, while the mainstream press ignores them, and the public is clueless about them.

That is a fact of American life that needs to change immediately. But for now, let's look at just one example of Fuller's professional crookedness, which resulted in two innocent citizens going to federal prison.

First, we have written several dozen posts showing that Siegelman and Scrushy were innocent of the corruption charges against them. They were convicted, in large part, because Fuller gave improper jury instructions, meaning the defendants were convicted of a "crime" that does not exist under the actual law.

But that is not nearly the worst of Fuller's unethical acts in the Siegelman/Scrushy trial. The worst one came near the beginning of the trial--and if Fuller had ruled correctly, the case would have been over before it had hardly begun.

That's because the alleged illegal acts involving the defendants took place almost a full year outside the five-year statute of limitations. We've already shown that Siegelman and Scrushy were innocent of the charges against them. But without Fuller's unlawful rulings at the outset, they never would have had to defend themselves at all.

How do two defendants go to trial on charges that are so old they are way outside the statute of limitations--and should have been dismissed as a matter of law? It happens when a corrupt judge allows the prosecution to get away with most anything.

In this case, Fuller let prosecutors get away with an indictment that was hopelessly vague. The normal solution for such a problem is for the judge to order a bill of particulars, forcing the prosecution to lay out its case with sufficient specificity. Without that, defendants don't know what wrongful acts they are alleged to have committed, and when they allegedly committed them. They are left to defend against what might be called "ghost charges."

As we showed in a previous post, even former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, now convicted as a child rapist, was given the benefit of a bill of particulars. Fuller denied that request for Siegelman and Scrushy. It only became apparent after days of testimony that the alleged wrongful acts had taken place in summer 1999. Given that the original indictment was issued in May 2005, that meant the charges were brought almost six years after the fact--well beyond the five-year statute of limitations.

Defense lawyers properly raised the statute of limitations defense again at the close of testimony, and Fuller cheated them a second time, on the same issue. Here is how we summed it up in a previous post:

If Fuller had ruled according to law, Siegelman and Scrushy never would have faced a trial. But Fuller didn't stop there; he cheated the defendants again after the trial was over. Defense lawyers filed a Rule 29 motion, asking for a judgment of acquittal because testimony had shown the key bribery charge was brought too late. Fuller wrongfully denied the motion, and the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, misreading simple procedural law and butchering its own precedent, found that defense lawyers had waived the statute of limitations defense by failing to properly raise it at trial.

A clear reading of Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure--plus a pertinent case styled Phillips v. U.S., 843 F. 2d 438 (11th Cir., 1988)--shows that the Siegelman/Scrushy defense team raised the issue in a proper fashion and did not waive it.


The public, and Alabama newspapers, are understandably outraged that Fuller stands charged of beating his wife--and faces a 24-month treatment program for alcohol, drug, and domestic-violence issues? But where is the outrage about his unethical conduct as a judge? Why does no one seem interested in holding him accountable for sending innocent individuals to prison?


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who pays Fuller to do what he does?

Are the "Counterfeiters" (Matthias Chang),

(that have gotten told no by the global human population, for doing the same acts globally as Fuller and his gang do),

thugs-crooks-criminally insane,

and hire as well as pay Rove and Fuller as a racket?

Looks to be.

e.a.f. said...

loved the headline!

Given all the press given to two football players, regarding their inappropriate behaviour, you didn't hear word one about Mark Fuller in any of it. It truly is amazing how football players can be held to a higher standard than a judge and how a commissioner of a football league can be held to a higher standard than the federal justice system. Oh how weird. On the other hand perhaps football players are more important than judge.

My concern is judges need to be held to a higher standard than football players because judges "judge" and have the ability to send people to jail, change the interpretation of laws, etc.

It is all too weird.

Anonymous said...

a crook in his professional life or a professional crook in his life happening past present now, and his personal life choice as thug and he is a top professional in the industry predator ruling class!

Anonymous said...

The judge should be happy that he is not being held to the same standard as the NFL football players are held too. If he had, he would be without a job. Drinking and doing dope can lead a person into trouble with Mr Johnny Law, that has been going on since our court system has come into being. What we have now is two sets of rule books. One set that governs the 1% club then another for the rest of us. Drink, get doped up, break the law and if you are a member of the 99% club you are likely to see the inside of a jail. If your a member of the 1% club then another set of rules will govern your case. The world we knew at one time is gone. Take a look at the billions of dollars that the wall st banks paid so that their crimes would be judged by the 1% rules. How can crimes that rate so high that the fines come in at 29 billion and more but somehow not a single person involved in those crimes see the inside of a jail? Still don't believe that we have two sets of rules or laws that govern us? To make matters worst the money that came in from those billion dollar fines were used in Florida to set up a special court to clear the back-log of forecloses or in terms that the 99% can understand a faster process to "aid the very same criminal who had just paid the billion dollars fines" steal your home. This is not some tv twilight zone from 1960 stuff, this is real and on going. This is our world today. Without public out cry it will only get worst. It is way past the time that you WTFU, wake the funk up!!!

R Hammond said...

I would say that Fuller's past now invites lots of convicted folks from his court to openly challenge their conviction. Whether right or not...he's basically doubled the work-load of the current court system, and it might take five years to clear this mess off. I would agree....he's simply not capable of carrying himself into the future.

Anonymous said...

Maybe your best post ever, LS. Splendid work.

RStevens43 said...

Look to who showed up to do a fund raiser for Mark Fuller in Enterprise, AL.

legalschnauzer said...

Who was it, RStevens43. I don't see a link.

Anonymous said...

Any updates on the recent activities of Ted Rollins et al ???

legalschnauzer said...

Not sure what Rollins has been up to. Will have to look into that shortly. Last I heard, he has an apartment complex going up in Tuscaloosa, AL

e.a.f. said...

Annoy. 7:26 a.m. Your post makes several good points. It maybe these same points which is driving Scotland to vote on separating from Great Britain. Perhaps some of the American states which are dissatisfied with how the country is being run, could vote to separate. Some countries have done it--divorce, and been civilized about it--a vote and gone. No fighting.

James Greek said...

e.a.f,

No matter who you are, Domestic Violence is wrong.

James Greek said...

You should do a comparison article with Teddy Rollins and Markie Fuller.

Bongo Bob said...

The fact that Obama DOJ hack Lanny "Never prosecute banks for money laundering" Breuer continued to prosecute Don during the Obama administration (before cashing in on his corrupt DOJ tenure & signing on with a Wall Street legal defense firm for $4 million/ year) just shows that a more vile collection of douchebags, from Rove to the Canarys to Fuller to Breuer, cannot be found this side of Hell.