It looks like Club Fed for Siegelman and Scrushy, according to experts. Who knew there were federal prison experts?
Edward S. Bales, who runs a national consulting firm specializing in federal prison, said that Siegelman can expect a prison sentence in the four-to-eight-year range. With no prior criminal record and no history of violence, he said, the ex-governor probably would spend his time in a minimum-security prison camp.
Alabama has two such facilities: the Federal Prison Camp at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery and a prison camp that is adjacent to the medium-security Talladega Federal Correctional Institution. There is no guarantee that either man would be incarcerated in Alabama, however.
…U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller will sentence Siegelman and Scrushy later this year. Between now and then, the U.S. Probation Office in Montgomery will conduct an in-depth pre-sentence investigation, as it does with all federal defendants in the Middle District of Alabama who are convicted or plead guilty.
That probation office will calculate the prison ranges under advisory sentencing guidelines. Although not bound by those guidelines, federal judges follow them more than 90 percent of the time.
The sentencing range will be determined by comparing the offenses with the defendants’ criminal histories. The judge decides the official sentencing range after prosecutors and defense lawyers have a chance to object to the Probation Office’s findings.
I hope, for their families’ sake, that both men are incarcerated in Alabama. But I doubt we’ll have to worry about that any time soon. Both of them will appeal and drag this mess out as long as possible, although at least one expert (another expert!) says the verdicts are unlikely to be overturned.