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Siegelman's First Judge Blasts U.S. Prosecutors, Seeks DoJ Probe of 'Unfounded' Charges | Andrew Kreig

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One of the most experienced federal judges in recent Alabama history is denouncing the U.S. Justice Department prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. Retired Chief U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon of Birmingham calls for a probe of misconduct by federal prosecutors including their alleged "judge-shopping," jury-pool "poisoning" and "unfounded" criminal charges in an effort to imprison Siegelman.  The Siegelman prosecution by the Bush Administration Justice Department is one of the most controversial U.S. criminal cases of the decade because of claims that Republican political appointees sometimes using career prosecutors as public surrogates unfairly targeted the Democratic defendant to prevent his re-election in 2006 as governor. "The 2004 prosecution of Mr. Siegelman in the Northern District of Alabama was the most unfounded criminal case over which I presided in my entire judicial career," Clemon wrote U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder last week. "In my judgment, his prosecution was completely without legal merit; and it could not have been accomplished without the approval of the Department of Justice."  The remarkable letter by Clemon requests that that Holder investigate misconduct by federal prosecutors arising from Siegelman's 2004 trial on bribery-related charges. Clemon oversaw that trial until prosecutors dropped the case. Prosecutors then shifted their effort against Siegelman to a different Alabama federal district. Prosecutors obtained Chief U.S. District Judge Mark E. Fuller of Montgomery to preside over the former governor's trial. Fuller hated Siegelman because of his role in appointing an investigator for scandals arising from the judge's controlling interest in the military contractor Doss Aviation, according to on-the-record sources cited in my Huffington Post article published May 15.  Meanwhile this week, protests against the federal court system's treatment of Siegelman escalated on other fronts following the article, which was entitled, "Siegelman Deserves New Trial Because of Judge's 'Grudge', Evidence Shows....$300 Million in Bush Military Contracts Awarded to Judge's Private Company." …. More:
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Democratic Activist and Strategist, doing most activist work thru a nationwide email listserv, referred to as "Pam's List". Elected member of the Alabama State Democratic Executive Committee as well as a member of my county, (Madison) Democratic (more...)

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You don’t know how bad our “legal&... by Steven G. Erickson on Friday, May 22, 2009 at 11:22:27 PM