Judge Mark Fuller has denied the remaining defense motions, clearing the way for Tuesday’s sentencing. I’ll just admit right here that I was one of the people who was furious that Richard Scrushy was acquitted in his HealthSouth fraud trial, and I was feeling the schadenfreude when he was tripped up in Montgomery.
That said, the sentences requested by the prosecutors — 30 years for Siegelman, 25 for Scrushy — are way out of line. Siegelman in particular is not accused of receiving any personal benefit (which is more than I can say re: Scrushy and Healthsouth). In any case, both men plan to appeal to the 11th Circuit Court after they are sentenced.
This prosecution may have been strictly on the up and up. For a long time, I thought it was — although, as I said above, my judgment may have been colored just a bit by my intense disdain for Richard Scrushy and what he did to HealthSouth. Now, in the wake of the US attorney scandals, there have been serious questions raised about the motivation behind the charges. The Bush Justice Department has only itself to blame for that.