We interrupt our analysis of the Paul Minor case in Mississippi to bring you this bulletin on an exceptionally busy day for justice-related news in Alabama:
Nick Bailey: My Bad
Nick Bailey says he's sorry for helping to send his former boss, ex-Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, to prison. Siegelman must be deeply touched. Bailey is heading off to prison himself, and before he goes, he makes a few contradictory statements. On the one hand, Bailey says he told the truth at the Siegelman trial. But on the other hand, he says, if he had it to do over again, he would not take the government's plea agreement and take his chances with the jury. Call me dense, but Tricky Nick can't have it both ways can he? If he told the truth at the trial, then how would it help him to pass on the plea agreement and take his chances with the jury? His testimony would be the same wouldn't it? And that would accomplish nothing but sending both Siegelman and himself to prison for seven or so years. Is that what Nick has in mind here? I don't think so. Either he lied on the stand at the trial or he would have lied on the stand had he not taken the plea agreement? Which one is it, Nick?
Artur Davis Fire Back
The Birmingham News still is after U.S. Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), evidently for having the temerity to question the activities of the Bush Justice Department. But Davis is not one to take things lying down. Check out the letter to the editor he fired off to the Newshounds. Notice how the News story hints that Davis somehow violated Congressional rules in the hiring of Gina Bailey McKell. Notice how Davis says, "The practice of public agencies lending out staff members and paying their salaries is specifically permitted by congressional rules. The rules make no distinction between whether the agency is state or federal." Take that Newshounds!
GOP Follies, Part I
Things are getting interesting in the corruption case of Bessemer Judge Dan King. Dan King (a Republican) is being pursued by Alabama Attorney General Troy King (a Republican) evidently because Rapid Troy didn't like Dan the Man's ruling in a high-profile gaming case. Now comes Earl Carter, circuit clerk in Bessemer, saying in a sworn affidavit that the indictment of Dan King was not handled according state law. And Carter seems to be pointing a finger at Circuit Judge Teresa Petelos (a Republican) for causing the impropriety. Judge Petelos is married to Tony Petelos (who is, guess what, a Republican), the mayor of Hoover, Alabama, and longtime Republican official at both the local and state levels. Where will all of this GOP fussin' and fightin' lead? Can't wait to see.
GOP Follies, Part II
Speaking of Rapid Troy (King) the AG Boy, he's making news on another front. Rapid Troy is defending his decision to yank a death-penalty case away from Shelby County District Attorney Robby Owens (a Republican, natch). Owens had argued against the death penalty for convicted murderer LaSamuel Gamble in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision barring the execution of people who committed murder while they were juveniles. This didn't go down well with Rapid Troy, a staunch proponent of the death penalty. Which leaves me with this question: Is it possible to root against both contenders in a GOP Deathmatch? Rapid Troy gives me the creeps because he looks like that android character in Terminator 2. And my firsthand experience with Owens and his office tells me he runs an operation that is both shoddy and corrupt (par for the course at the Shelby County Courthouse). A couple of very interesting quotes from Owens. One, he says, "I can't sacrifice honor and integrity to be a Troy King or a Nifong," referring to the Duke lacrosse-team prosecutor, Mike Nifong. Hmmm, we will be taking a close look at the honor and integrity of Owens' office in the very near future. Also, Owens said he thought leaving Gamble on Death Row would turn his case into a rallying point for death-penalty opponents. I thought Owens was interested in honor and integrity, not politics. Hold that second thought from Owens. We will return to it down the road.
Chris McNair Sentenced
Former Jefferson County Commissioner Chris McNair is sentenced to five years in prison for his role in a sewer-contractor probe. McNair's case is just one of several where a public official who is an African-American and/or a Democrat (McNair is both) has been targeted by Alice Martin, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. That's not to quibble with the McNair prosecution (he confessed to wrongdoing) or the others, necessarily. But I'm trying to figure out how many Republican officials Ms. Martin has gone after. Anybody know the answer to that one? Anybody?