Siegelman To Be Released on Bond

Better late than never, I finally catch up with the big news story of the day. Don Siegelman will be released on bond tomorrow morning, pending appeal of his conviction.

The [11th Circuit Court] judges wrote that Siegelman met both requirements for an appeal bond: He is not a flight risk and his appeal raises a substantial question of law or fact likely to result in reversal or an order for a new trial.

“After thorough review of this complex and protracted record, we conclude Siegelman has satisfied the criteria set out in the statute, and has specifically met his burden of showing that his appeal raises substantial questions of law or fact,” the judges wrote.

The court did not elaborate on what those questions were. Siegelman’s lawyers, among other issues, have argued prosecutors didn’t prove that Siegelman and Scrushy struck a “quid pro quo” deal to swap the money for the appointment.

The court denied Richard Scrushy’s request for release. His attorney had no details, but I’d guess he’s considered a flight risk. He certainly has the financial wherewithal to take off for parts unknown, and his unscheduled yacht cruise last year didn’t win him any points with the Feds. [UPDATE: Danny confirms my guess here.]

I’m glad Siegelman is being released. He’s no danger to society, and I can’t see him running. It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money to keep him in prison while his conviction is appealed.

3 Responses to “Siegelman To Be Released on Bond”

  1. geneo says:

    Hiya

    Got a post up you might like to read.

    Come and vist any time.

    :)

    http://www.leftinalabama.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1455

  2. mooncat says:

    We incarcerate entirely too many people in this country. I’m not advocating letting all the white collar criminals out, but the ones who have “reasonable grounds” for appeal and some hope that the conviction will be overturned, as Siegelman has, should be out on bond. Scrushy’s larger bank account does make him more of a flight risk, but he also has a lot less political clout than Don Siegelman has right now. For an instance, the House Judiciary Committee doesn’t want to hear from Richard Scrushy. Should that matter? No. Does it matter? Probably.

  3. Kathy says:

    mooncat, I’ve said for a long time that I think Siegelman’s conviction came in part because he was tried with Scrushy. A lot of people were infuriated by Scrushy’s acquittal on the HealthSouth fraud charges, and they were happy to see him go down for anything.

    I do understand why the court would consider Scrushy a flight risk, given some of the stunts he pulled while awaiting sentencing. I don’t understand the “disappointment” from the Alabama Republican Party over Siegelman’s release pending appeal. Didn’t hear them complaining when Scooter’s sentence was commuted. I guess “compassionate conservative” really is an oxymoron.

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