Federal prosecutors are no longer seeking stiffer prison sentences for former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy, but have not said why.
Prosecutors filed a motion this week with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking that their appeals of the sentences be dropped. Their appeals had called for a longer prison term than Siegelman's more than seven-year sentence and Scrushy's almost seven-year sentence .
The latest filing does not spell out why prosecutors want to drop their appeals. It just says "the government has elected not to proceed with its cross-appeal as to either defendant."
Prosecutors originally asked that Siegelman be sentenced to 30 years in federal prison and Scrushy to 25 years.
Interesting developments indeed. Karl Rove, as you know was subpeoned by the Judiciary committee to speak about this case.
AMY GOODMAN: You were a loyal member of the Republican Party and the Bush administration. What ultimately pushed you to break ranks? Was it your firing?
DAVID IGLESIAS: Well, it was a combination of things. They slandered our reputation when the deputy attorney general testified that we had performance-related problems. We knew he knew better. We knew he had seen our evaluations. And also I knew that John McKay and Carol Lam and Charlton and Bogden and Chiara represented some of the best US attorneys out there. These were very forward-thinking, smart, principled people. So I think I wrote in the New York Times last year something to the effect that I knew I could be fired for doing the wrong thing, I didn’t know I could be fired for doing the right thing. And the right thing was upholding the rule of law. I mean, this is not about us losing our jobs. This is a matter of us enforcing the rule of law and separation of powers and doing what prosecutors have traditionally done in prior administrations, which was be independent and autonomous of elected officials.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think the prosecution, the jailing of Alabama Governor Don Siegelman is related to what happened to you, David Iglesias?
DAVID IGLESIAS: I think there is a very strong circumstantial case there. I’ve not followed that issue as carefully as our own firings. But based on what I’ve read—and also, it’s really important to point out, federal courts of appeal almost never release somebody who has already been convicted and is serving time. I called my office after the Siegelman story broke. I asked one of my lawyers that does nothing but appeals. I said, “Has this happened in this district, that the circuit has released somebody we’ve convicted?” He goes, “It’s never happened.” So the listener really needs to understand how rare it was for the Fifth Circuit there to release Governor Siegelman. I think it has lots of indicia of political interference, which would explain why Rove doesn’t want to talk about it, because he has criminal liability, and he knows that.
So the dropping of this appeal is historic. Something is happening in the justice department these days. They know that once we elect Barack Obama as president, the crimes committed by this administration will be investigated. I suspect they are trying to stop the ground swell now and look clean, but it is too late. Senator Lehey STILL wants to hear from Karl Rove, (Wexler wants to hear from Scottie, I hope Mr. McClellan can go to DC without the need to be subpeoned.)
Both of these men are speaking to everyone else, instead of who they need to speak to, those who have the ability to hold them accountable, to those that can start to clean up this corrupted Justice Department.
The tide is turning. People know change is going to come. Unless of course, this is the kind of change you want:
Yeah. You heard that right. :thud:
The next few months will be crazy, no doubt, but little wins like this for Mr. Siegleman are the kind of refreshing things we can expect to see if we keep walking forward. One step at time.
:peace: and Raine
************** UPDATE **************
From Raw Story: DoJ investigating to US Attorneys for Political Prosecution [...] The US Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is investigating the conduct of at least two specific US Attorneys in the “selective prosecution” of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, sitting Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver E. Diaz Jr., and Mississippi attorney Paul Minor, according to attorneys close to the investigation.
In a May 5 letter sent to House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers (D-MI), OPR Director H. Marshall Jarrett wrote that OPR “currently has pending investigations involving, among others, allegations of selective prosecution relating to the prosecutions of Don Siegelman, Georgia Thompson, Oliver Diaz and Paul Minor.”
RAW STORY has confirmed that Leura Canary, the US Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, and Dunnica Lampton, the US Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi , are under investigation. Their offices are also being probed.