Former Congressman Parker Griffith said this week that the Don Siegelman case was a "political assassination" and an "embarrassment" to the U.S. Department of Justice. Those words, spoken in an interview with Los Angeles radio host Lila Garrett, were perhaps the most powerful statement from a political figure about the nation's most notorious selective prosecution.
The most profound words in the interview, however, might have come from Dana Siegelman, the former Alabama governor's daughter. Making a joint appearance with Griffith, Dana Siegelman cut to the core of her father's case--and shed light on the issue of judicial corruption, which plagues our justice system at both the state and federal levels.
With the exception of Harper's legal-affairs analyst Scott Horton and Justice-Integrity Project director Andrew Kreig, most lawyers speak in polite tones about even the worst federal justices--including Mark Fuller, who ramrodded the Siegelman case in the Middle District of Alabama. Neither Parker Griffith nor Dana Siegelman is a lawyer, so they did not pull any punches. Griffith called Fuller "a weak individual," but Dana Siegelman went much farther--and she illustrated the problem that corrupt judges can pose for all Americans.
The issue came up when Garrett asked about possible recourse, considering that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the case, and noted that "a raft of lawyers" must be working on a case that involves such a clear injustice. Dana Siegelman's reply?
It’s a funny thing. A lot of top lawyers wanted to take this case right from the get-go because it seemed like a blatant win, and they wanted their names on it. Dad liquidated (our) trust fund for college degrees, and he’s apologized to this day because he spent all of this money trying to get these great lawyers to do this case, and of course, as the case looked less and less appealing, they left. So there is no money left for legal defense, and we have a handful of people working tirelessly pro bono, appealing the sentence, appealing for a new trial . . . and these appeals are long in the making. I think we’ve been appealing for a new trial for almost four years.
Why the futility? Dana Siegelman cuts to the chase--and it affects many Americans, not just her father:
We had a great legal defense team--lots of people who really love dad. They are brilliant lawyers, but you can be the best lawyer in the entire world and if you get in front of a corrupt judge, there’s really not much you can do. And that’s where they found themselves.
Those words are so on target that they hurt--and they are the No. 1 reason we need legal reform in this country, maybe even more so than health-care reform. If you have good insurance, our health-care system probably serves you well--and that is the case for many Americans. Our legal system, however, serves almost no one--except members of the legal tribe. In some cases--as we know because Don Siegelman is a lawyer--the legal tribe will eat one of its own.
In theoretical terms, Dana Siegelman's words are flawed. After all, we have multiple layers of appellate courts. And any lawyer who witnesses misconduct by a fellow member of the bar, including a clearly corrupt judge, is bound by ethics rules to report it.
But what is the reality? Appellate judges often are more interested in providing cover for their trial-court brethren than in ensuring that justice is served. And the rule that lawyers must report misconduct within the profession . . . well, that's an utter joke. The law is our only self-regulating profession, and lawyers prove what most of us already know--that foxes make poor guards of hen houses.
That creates a situation that is horrific for victims of the system--and it's also hard on the lawyers who try to serve them. Says Dana Siegelman:
I’ve seen dad’s lawyers cry in the courtroom because they were just so exhausted and devastated that it’s turned out to be like this--and all of their hard work was for naught.
Awesome post, LS. Thanks so much.
Great pic of Dana. She's smart as hell--and hot, too. Good combination.
One of the best articles I've read on this whole affair. LS rocks, and so does Dana S!
This kicks butt. Love it!
If you want to know what kind of man Don Siegelman is, just check out his daughter. A corrupt politico wouldn't raise a daughter like this one.
I wanna a T shirt.
May Mark Fuller burn in hell.
I was just searching around for something else when I saw your blog and included this link which may be related in a round about manner.
The money that the gambling industry gets is all raised by scamming people and it wouldn't be there to railroad people if they had real truth in advertising laws.
I just looked him up and found that he tried to use gambling money for education though; this doesn't justify the railroading that he has been receiving but I'm not thrilled with this practice since it does more harm than good even though it isn't nearly as bad as the industries that use this money for all the wrong reasons.
He was justified to increase education money of course and I understand that is hard in the current political culture but in the long run this should be stopped as well.
The law profession is the mother that eats it's own children.
That IS a great-looking T-shirt, especially when Dana is wearing it.
Good laws, good intentions, good lawyers, and good intent make no difference if the judge has a political agenda of his own and an ax to grinde. The purpose of the framers of the Constitution was to assure that federal judges would not to subject to the whims of politics and this is why they have life tenure. A mistake!
There is no accountability in the federal judicial system. What does one do about a federal judge who makes his decisions based on politics and not the law? Answer - there is nothing one can do. Another problem is that the federal appellate courts usually rubber stamp the lower courts' decisions. Result, a litigant faced with such a situation is totally isolated and completely at the mercy of the system.....
Anon at 10:47--
Very well stated. And the same applies to state judges, especially where judges are elected. Once in office, no lawyer is likely to ever run against them for fear of retribution. Most sitting state judges run unopposed, term after term, and essentially become "judge for life." And no one holds them accountable either. Judicial inquiry commissions are a joke. The No. 1 solution, in my mind, is that we need citizen oversight of judges in our justice system. It cannot be left as a play toy for lawyers. We need specially trained citizens at every level, to ensure that justice is done and the actual law is applied.
problem that corrupt judges can pose for all Americans.
When my brother handed me the letter from my Congressman-Thursday May18,2006 concerning the Director of the BOP:
Dear Mr. Spruill:
Thank you for contacting me to express your concems about Harley Lappin. I appreciate you apprising me of your views on this issue.
Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind as this issue comes before me. Please feel free to contact me in the future on other issues which may be of concem to you.
Robert C. "Bobby''Scott
Member of Congress
I intuitively knew something was VERY WRONG when Bush flew into Va. Beach the next day:
Dana - You are awesome!! I know your Dad is so very proud of you. Don't stop fighting!! We believe in YOU and your family.
LS - Great work!!
Unfortunately, Fuller is just one of a stable of misfits who are completely unfit to sit on the federal bench.
Hitler and Stalin had judges, too.
May Karl Rove, Bill Canary, Leura Canary, Bob Riley, Rob Riley, Louis Franklin, Steve Feaga--the list goes on--also burn in hell.
That's going to be quite a fire in hell. Could roast some serious marshmellows on that sucker.
I heard somewhere not long ago that Rob Riley was heavily involved in stealing the 2002 election, where votes got switched from Siegelman to Bob Riley in the middle of the night. Dan Gans is the name I've most often heard connected to that little piece of sleaze, but now I'm hearing Rob Riley was right in the middle of it, too.
Anon at 1:21--
I've heard similar information regarding Rob Riley and the 2002 election. I have some very interesting posts coming soon on Rob Riley. You will want to stay tuned.
Who was that prostitute that Rob Riley was representing? Was he also a client of hers?
I don't know about the prostitute, but Mr. Riley has engaged in some interesting extracurricular activities, and you will be reading about them soon at LS.
Ask Don about the Lost DOG's campaign he did at taxpayer expense in 2001, abusing and violating parents and children, all for his political pandering agenda. Now, how come all this care and concern from all of you, especially LS, when one of those in the 'inner circle' gets a dose of the injustice system that he himself fully supported being applied to us common folks?? Don got a dose of the injustice system he was more than willing to force upon others. Many of us "nobodies" have been yelling "fire" in the court room for years all while going ignored. Our children have been abused and murdered by these judges and lawyers like Don and none of you care. I am glad that someone with a "name" has been put where us and our kids have been. Maybe Don and Dana will fight for helpless children being robbed, kidnapped, abused and murdered by the Alabama judges, lawyers, legislators and misguided parents who take a fit parent from a child. In truth, as LS likes to stay based on, none of you care. And surely don't think Dana and Don care about anyone but themselves. Do your time Don, shut up, go away, and ask your daughter to as well, because just as you told many others to do when you were the Governor. Do your time and stop your whining. Signed - Chris Hobbs, 2100 Giles Dr NE. Hsv, AL 35811, 256 479 1915. Unlike 99.99% of posters I don't hide behind some made up name. I ain't hard to find. Lost Dogs, Don, LOST DOGS.
Is this the "Alabama Lost Dogs" program to which you refer? It was a program to recover child-support payments? It sounds like it was designed to help children, but you obviously disagree:
Could you answer the question of how on a firefighter's pay that you can afford all the legal fees you are required to pay for such expensive appeals?
On your YouTube videos you say that you lost joint custody after taking your job as a firefighter yet you say because of your job you can only see your son 2 days a week! I'm just baffled as to what your fight is truly about.
You originally had what you are fighting for yet lost that due to a job you chose to take which you say lessens your time with your child yet you are fighting for more time! Tell us, who would care for your child while you are at work and he would be on your parenting time? Are you fighting for your child or yourself Chris?
Moreover, why in the hell did you bIte the hand of the judge who gave you what you wanted originally. Looks like you were the one to blame for it yet you went after the judge! You couldn't have possibly handled your case any worse. Especially in an AL town that is known for favoring fathers!
Chris you look to have drank the Fathers Rights kool aid but seem to have gotten a bad batch!
You do however touch on an enlightening subject. That being the Lost Dogs program of the Siegleman Admin. Siegleman more than likely made a lot of powerful politicians and groups mad with that program. Something I suspect played a big role in his demise. LS other than the fact that Chris seems to be a moron, he may have just touched on some significant motives.
Also Chris, has it ever occurred to you that trying to get along with you x would be better for your child that keeping her in court for 15yrs. That money you used to make judges and lawyers rich would be better suited to help your child maybe get a college education! Jerk
Can Chris tell us who Seigleman was pandering to with the Lost Dogs program?
I had that same question. Perhaps Chris will explain.
MAIN Subject: 1. Don was found guilty via the justice system. 2. Don should do the time he has been lawfully ordered to serve and do it without whining about it.
Do your time Don. Just do your time.
As for any other subjects dragged up in posts/replies by cowardly posters, or by LS, I am open to discuss my experience with any of you any time more properly and appropriately well beyond this blog. It is arrogant to believe any of you can write a reply of any length which will sum up my story in a nice and neat few sentences. You do not know enough info on my experience to fill a thimble. To devote precious, but limited, space on this blog trying to educate any of you of over 15 years of a fit parent defending both his and his child's equal rights, God given rights, to one another, would be foolish. It is quite apparent the concept of parent-child bond, love, time, and heritage sails far over the heads of too many of you. Likewise, to attempt to educate you on the child support system via this blog or my post would do not be productive. If LS really wants to educate himself on these issues, and thereby educate you via his blog, the invitation is always extended to him. Whether he takes up the invite is on him.
Back to the subject: Do your time Don and be quiet. You earned it.
LS, thanks for allowing us to share our thoughts.
Signed, Chris Hobbs
Just as I expected Chris! You are not fighting for your child! Your nothing but a misogynistic fool who uses government money to make your child and his mother go through hell! You should be ashamed of yourself! Get a life man! Get a life!
But more so, stop fighting your ex and try to get along with her so your child can have a life. Those idiots who you are the spokesperson for in your area are using you and you're too dumb to get it! MAN UP DUDE! AND SHUT UP! To fight for your child to have no stability is insane as is your cause!
Anon @ 10:03 AM
I so wish I could hit a like button on that comment.
Thank you for your exhaustive coverage of the Siegelman case. However it is as though you have covered the human body without mentioning the connective tissue - the thing that ties everything else together.
Here the connective tissue is psychopathy. Karl Rove, Mark Fuller, Bill Canary (who along with his wife make up an evil couple) are all congenital psychopaths.
Backed by their arrogance and ill developed morality (as arrested in development as their sexuality) they feel they have a license to turn the justice system into a criminal weapon.
Perhaps we can make Siegelman's case into their Waterloo. More senior psychopaths should worry that the path of recognition will lead to themselves.
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