Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Prosecutors in Siegelman Case Have No Shame

Federal prosecutors in Alabama argue in a new motion that U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller acted impartially in the Don Siegelman case and should not recuse himself from further proceedings.

The prosecutors evidently wrote this argument with a straight face, while preparing a response on a motion to recuse from Siegelman's codefendant, former HealthSouth Corp. CEO Richard Scrushy.

At the heart of the prosecution's response is this novel idea: It's perfectly fine for jurors to be swapping e-mails during the course of a criminal trial.

To no one's surprise, Siegelman was not amused. In a written response, the former governor said:

The government farcically argues that the trial judge and 11th Circuit decided in my case that the system operated fairly for me because the trial judge assumed that the emails from Juror # 7 and Juror # 40 were "authentic" and so when he denied our motion for a new trial, based on those emails, both Courts said that it's OK for jurors to be emailing each other before the close of the Government's case, OK to be in a a conspiracy to subvert the defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial.

Siegelman is quick to point out that jurors were not e-mailing each other about the outcome of the previous night's episode of Lost:

Keep in mind what these jurors were saying and what they were trying to do. The emails revealed a deep hidden prejudice against both me and Richard Scrushy and just as important, the emails showed that the jurors were violating the order of the Court and plotting to get other jurors to vote for a conviction!

Prosecutors, indoctrinated in the win-at-all-costs ethos of the Bush Justice Department, seem to have no problem with this scenario. They also repeatedly refer in their motion to the fact that the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld most of the convictions against Siegelman and Scrushy.

Never mind that the 11th Circuit's findings are demonstrably unlawful and corrupt. Never mind that the Siegelman/Scrushy trial took place in Montgomery, Alabama, which has become the primary sleazepit of Bush-era "justice."

Says Siegelman:

How in the world can anyone have respect for a system of justice if this kind of conduct is given a stamp of approval by a trial judge and a Court of Appeals? According to the United States Government these courts have just said that jurors are now free to conspire by email or text messaging during the course of a trial and are free to conspire with one another to try to get votes for a conviction even before the evidence and witnesses have been heard.

And here's the really big question?

How can The United Sates Government think that such a judgment promotes public trust and confidence in the fairness of our judicial and court systems?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes... just a conduit!