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Friday, July 1, 2016

Why are al.com and Montgomery Advertiser trying to convince public that Hubbard sentence recommendation is "stiff" when it clearly is limp?


Mike Hubbard
Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard should spend five years behind bars, according to the prosecutors who got him convicted on 12 counts of violating state ethics laws. Given that Hubbard faced a maximum of 240 years (each count carries a range of two to 20 years), five years seems woefully insufficient.

Just imagine how little prison time Hubbard's own lawyers will ask for. Will they ask for two days of probation, with no time served? Hubbard lawyer Bill Baxley has called the recommendation "absurd" -- as in absurdly harsh. This is a rare instance where Baxley and I agree on something; I also find the recommendation to be absurd -- absurdly lenient. In fact, it makes one wonder if Attorney General Luther Strange ever was serious about punishing Hubbard and using him to set an example that would discourage corrupt conduct in other public officials.

Perhaps most disturbing, there already seems to be an effort in the mainstream media (MSM) to portray the sentencing recommendation as tough -- when it is anything but tough. You expect Baxley to whine about the recommendation; that's pretty much what he's paid to do. But why is the MSM trying to convince the public of something that clearly is not true?

At al.com, columnist John Archibald penned an item titled "Prosecutors seek stiff jail term for former House Speaker Mike Hubbard." First, Hubbard likely will be going to a state prison, not a county jail, so the headline has accuracy problems. But then we have this manure from the body of Archibald's column:

A sentencing memorandum filed tonight in the Hubbard case – in preparation for Hubbard's July 8 sentencing on 12 ethics convictions – asks for an 18-year base sentence, split to serve five years in state prison. That would be followed by 13 years of probation.

The state is asking Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker to use his gavel as a hammer, not only to punish Hubbard for his serious crimes, but as a deterrent to other public officials.

The 18 years is less than the 20-year maximum Hubbard could face on each charge, but is equal to the number of years he spent in the Legislature. The five years is the maximum that can be given as a split sentence – which is time he would have to serve -- but is also the length of time he served as Speaker.

Fitting.

These four paragraphs are so full of horse feces, I don't know where to begin. For several months now, Archibald and compadre Kyle Whitmire actually have been behaving like objective, capable journalists. But this makes it seem their right-wing overseers have said, "Time to pull in the reins, boys. It's bad enough that one of our white, beloved, Riley-Inc. legislators has been convicted, now it's our duty to con the public into thinking "Hubby," we mean Mike, could be facing an insufferably long punishment."

Hubbard could face 240 years behind bars, and the state wants him to get five -- and that would be asking Judge Jacob Walker to "use his gavel as a hammer"? Archibald and Baxley must be sipping from the same bottle of Old Grand-dad.

And what is this nonsense about the 18 years being "equal to the number of years [Hubbard] spent in the Legislature" and the five years is "the length of time he served as Speaker"?

That's "fitting," Archibald wants us to believe. It's pure bulls--t, I'm telling you.

This is about criminal activity, of which Hubbard has been convicted by a jury of his peers. We are talking about felonies. It has zero to do with the time Hubbard spent in the legislature or as Speaker. It blows the mind to think Archibald figures the public will fall for such garbage.

Brian Lyman, of the Montgomery Advertiser, is trying to spread the same manure with a story titled "Prosecutors: Give Hubbard big sentence, big fine." From Lyman, who notes that prosecutors want Hubbard to pay more than $1.6 million in fines and restitution:

In a motion filed Thursday evening, prosecutors asked Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker to sentence Hubbard, convicted June 10 on 12 felony ethics charges, to a total term of 18 years. The state wants Hubbard to serve five of those in prison, with the remaining 13 years spent on supervised probation.

The sentence would match Hubbard’s 18 years in the Alabama House of Representatives. The five-year prison term would match his tenure as speaker.

The state also wants the Auburn Republican to pay more than $1.6 million in fines and restitution.

Notice that Lyman uses the same meaningless BS that Archibald used about "18 equals Hubbard's time in the Legislature," and "five matches his time as Speaker." Did this pair of "journalists" work on their stories as a joint homework assignment? Did one plagiarize the other? Are they going to consult a Quija board next?

To be sure, criminal sentencing is a complex topic, including guidelines that judges apparently do not have to follow -- with prison overcrowding, which is particularly severe in Alabama, affecting the whole process.

Judge Walker will conduct a sentencing hearing on July 8, one week from today. In my view, Hubbard should get the minimum of 24 years, and I think he deserves to serve all of that behind bars. But since a split sentence and probation is likely in play, Hubbard should get at least 10 years behind bars, with 14 years of probation.

Anything less than that should produce outrage from the public. Here is the prosecution's sentencing recommendation:





22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Under a split sentence DOC and/or parole board can't give the defendant an early release. 20 years alone means nothing under Alabama law. 5 years split sentence means 5 years day for day. Looks like they trying to keep him there for a while. Defendants seldom get consecutive sentences. Turning the decision over to DOC as to release date on a straight sentence would be a disaster. They could have argued for consecutive split sentences and kept him 10 years. That would be more fitting.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for your insights, @7:28. The option in your last two sentences sounds good to me. I know you can only guess at this, but what do you expect Judge Walker to do?

Anonymous said...

In response to your question.

I've never met Judge Walker but by filing the memorandum and asking for that sentence it puts the Judge in an awkward position. I've been a prosecutor. I would have asked for split sentences but then asked they run consecutive. Now the Judge is in a position to accept their recommendation. They showed their hand and asked for a minimal sentence. Better to have asked for more and let the Judge give less.

You were right about al.com position about this being a long sentence is bs.

I would venture a guess that the Judge takes the State's recommendation. Should he go longer then he will be portrayed as the villan. That's why I think the State should have asked for a longer sentence. Them let him reduce it some.

Also looks like under this sentence he may stay out on an appeal bond since it is a sentence less than 20 years. Hubbard may not see a prison for many years. A 20 split 5 could have eliminated that. The 18 is a strange number likely done to benefit the defendant.

Anonymous said...

Alabama missed its chance. What about the other crooks?

Anonymous said...

Maybe there was truth to Hubbard's tale of the state AG office being out to get him and now they feel sorry for bringing "one of their own" down. Hubbard was part of the team that put this ethic bill into law and they said 2 to 20 years on each count. No one seems to care when we send off sick people with drug problems for 20 years but now we care about this guy with 12 felonies charges? There is no way to put a number to the damage Hubbard did to the state, plus he called out the states top cops as being the bad guys in all of this. Even still he will not man up to what he did to us and that in itself should call for at least the minimum 2 years for each 12 counts = 24 years. I fear that justice is not blind down here in Bamaland and because of who he was he will be entitled to special treatment. If he does not do at least 12 years in the state pen, everyone will see this for what it is. White privilege.

Anonymous said...

A energy company wants to build a waste to energy facility in Macon Co AL. Macon Co does not produce enough waste to supply one yet. When Victoryland reopens, Craftmaster Printers will produce flyers advertising the Gaming facility. The discarded flyers will be burned at the waste facility. Mike will be sent to the Federal prison in Atlanta as a federal witness in protection.

Anonymous said...

10:34 you're right. He was a marionette for powerful people. What about his puppet-masters? Let's hope he sings loudly for the sake of Alabamians who deserve honest government. If he sings and lives a long life, then the good people of Alabama will benefit for generations. They'll be set free.

Phil Fleming said...

Jacob Walker is a tough circuit judge who has been tough on the defense through pre-trial and the trial itself. We shall see what happens next Friday.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for your insights, @9:27. Please feel free to add your comments as the Hubbard case moves along. Sentencing is a complex issue, and I hope we can keep up with your thoughts.

legalschnauzer said...

Strong insights, @9:02. Yes, does seem to be a heavy does of white privilege involved here.

Coshalady Cameron said...

Hubbard and few others have not only violated Our States Ethics Law, Hubbard and His flunkeys with a siund mind, not tortured not asked of any one they broke the laws Of Alabama. I get speeding ticket I'm put on probation until I pay the while cost of my fine??? How is this upright law abiding house rep. Any different than I am orcany other citizen that lives in Alabama??? Mr.Segalman (spelled wrong) actually did pretty much the same except mr. S. Didnt want profit he wanted iyr citizens morecjobs and better pay but he is thrown in like a dog and treated worse than Manson!!! Oh Harri Anne she was under grand jury she lied out her a** and the tapes a week or so before these come up missing or misplaced per: the FBI or so the citizens were told. And she walked freely smiling like a jackass in heat! Ronnie Gilley wanted jobs more pay better workforce and he sits in jail like a Manson follower!!!! Explain that!!! The true evils that walk and lie like they just ate a rat get off with the old money saying"y'all watch you back next time" out the door they go???? WOW Great day and night of corrupt government from top to bottom of Alabama!!!! No one stands up and says enough!!! Well I tried I was sent off for a few days under judges order cause I asked for help with a light bill and water!!??? I've been first in Line with my civil rights being violated, I was discriminated against at our local 211 office have a assistant director of AWD had the same thing happen when she called them!!! But I was put away!!!

Coshalady Cameron said...

In Headland a mansat in the jail with no bond no interaction with outside world and never seen a judge or jury for two years andche didn't commit the f****** crimes???? Makecne understand? Make his family understand!!??? They can't because this is the good ole boys system and you have to pay play the right game here I have seen first hand!!! This is corrupt biased profiling (which is No tolerance period) or so I have read!!! My a**!!!

Coshalady Cameron said...

Yeah he will buckle under like all the rest I think he will get scared of losing His funds yearly being black balled as the big dogs put it!!!??

Phil Fleming said...

Remorse is paramount in the penalty phase of a criminal trial and Mike Hubbard has no remorse at all. He reminds me of Illinois Governor Rod Blagjojevich, who was convicted of trying to sell Barack Obama's vacant US Senate seat. Like Hubbard, "Blago" acted like a delusional"nut" through out the entire trial, including the penalty phase. As a result, "Blago" got 14 years in prison. Judges tend to have a low tolerance level for that kind of "B.S."

Anonymous said...

How do you get a list of all the politicians Business Council of Alabama has given money to? Where is the list and are all of them Republicans?

legalschnauzer said...

Alabama Secretary of State's Office might have that info, @11:53. Could be on their Web site. I know BCA gave to Artur Davis when he was a Democrat, so BCA did not give only to Repugs. I think it could be argued that Davis' determination to suck up to BCA while insulting the constituents in his district ruined his political career.

Anonymous said...

Here - - http://fcpa.alabamavotes.gov/PublicSite/SearchPages/ContributionSearch.aspx ---: $6,000 to candidates, and it doesn't seem to want you to see any more than that
Here -- https://ballotpedia.org/Business_Council_of_Alabama-- it says their expenses are $3-$4 million. Where does the money go?

Anonymous said...

See the BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALABAMA IRS Form 990 for some of the details.




http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/630/630922835/630922835_201412_990O.pdf

Anonymous said...

Page 1 of Business Council of Alabama 2014 IRS Form 990.

http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/630/630922835/630922835_201412_990O.pdf

Total revenue $ 4,235,142
Salaries, other compensation, employee benefits $2,337,205
Other expenses $2,018,442
Total Expenses $4,355,647
Net assets $6,902,171

Page 13 of Business Council of Alabama 2014 IRS Form 990.


WILLIAM J CANARY PRESIDENT/CEO
Reportable compensation from the Organization $552,691
Estimated amount of other compensation from the organization and related organization $46,575

Pocket change less than $600,000 for 40 hours a week. Nice work if you can get it.


BEND OVER ALABAMA! That ain't no soap on a rope the BCA is fixin to give you again!

Phil Fleming said...

Don't you mean"sentence recommendation"?

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for your research, @8:47. Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

http://www.alreporter.com/bentley-canary-riley-plan-to-control-educations-future

/MONTGOMERY—In June, Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur) emailed members of the State Board of Education to encourage them to keep interim Superintendent Philip Cleveland, “a few more months to work on efficiency and effectiveness of the department and the programs.” But what Collins calls “efficiency and effectiveness of the department and the programs,” is part of a larger, darker plan to wrestle control of public education away from the State’s elected Board.

“The goal is ultimately is to put both K-12 and post-secondary under the Department of Commerce, because they see education as workforce training,” said an anonymous source with close ties to the education sector. In fact, several current education experts have privately stated the same, while at the same time accusing Gov. Robert Bentley of being a “useful tool,” for Billy Canary and former Gov. Bob Riley.

Speaking on background, a former BCA member said, “BCA wants its hands on education, and Riley wants his money in the till, and amazingly, Bentley is their useful tool.”