Siegelman and Selective Prosecution
A NYT editorial calls for an investigation into the successful prosecution of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman.
It is extremely disturbing that Don Siegelman, the former governor of Alabama, was hauled off to jail this week. There is reason to believe his prosecution may have been a political hit, intended to take out the state’s most prominent Democrat, a serious charge that has not been adequately investigated. The appeals court that hears his case should demand answers, as should Congress.
Steve Benen (who is simultaneously blogging at his own site and subbing for both Kevin Drum and Josh Marshall) thinks the story has “legs.”
Now, I’ve called here and elsewhere for a depoliticization of the entire U.S. Attorney system on the grounds that having prosecution decisions made by partisan appointees gives rise to these kind of questions. Still, Siegelman’s case would seem an odd one to hang one’s hat on in this fight. He was, after all, convicted by a jury on multiple felony counts.
As I noted in my first post on this matter nearly two years ago, “Siegelman is one of the few Democrats I’ve voted for, although I later came to regret it.” I also expressed concern about the bringing of “charges for public corruption that allegedly took place more than seven years ago.” As more evidence came out, though, it was pretty clear Siegelman was taking massive bribes from former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy and others in classic quid-pro-quo fashion.