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Friday, June 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Ex-Alabama Governor Will Remain in Prison

(CN) - Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman will not be released from prison while awaiting the outcome of an appeal of his 2006 conviction on bribery charges, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Clay Land said that Siegelman had not "satisfied the legal requirements for such release." Siegelman is currently serving time in a federal prison in Oakdale, La.

In June 2006, a jury convicted Siegelman of bribery, mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and obstruction of justice. The charges stemmed from two $250,000 payments that Siegelman allegedly received in exchange for appointing former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to a state regulatory board.

Siegelman was ultimately sentenced to "a term of imprisonment of 78 months with credit for time served." His motion for a new trial and motion for discovery were both denied, and his appeal on the judgment is currently pending in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Siegelman argued prosecutorial misconduct in the case, as well as errors in sentencing. His prosecutorial misconduct argument concerned a U.S. attorney who purportedly had a conflict of interest in the case. His sentencing argument rested on a stipulation that created the possibility that he could end up "serving more time in prison than is authorized under the law."

Land concluded, however, that the issues would not likely result in a new trial or improper sentence.

"Although Defendant raises significant issues that deserve serious consideration, it is this Court's judgment that the Court of Appeals is unlikely to resolve those issues in a manner that would likely result in a new trial or in a reduced sentence to a term of imprisonment less than the total of the time already served plus the expected duration of the appeal," Land wrote.

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