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A strange twist of fate for Richard Scrushy

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Message Dana Jill Simpson

This morning I got up and read that Binyam Mohamed was offered a deal by the United States  Justice Department last year and what a deal it was.  Basically they would let him plead guilty for a crime he did not commit and then ask him  to agree not to ever tell of being tortured.  What a deal. 

Needless to say, he refused and now thousands of detainees will benefit from him not accepting the governments ridculous offer.  Most people don't know but this is alot like what the United States Justice Department did to Richard Scrushy. 

How you ask?   Well, the government pretty much from what I understand offered to allow him to plead guilty and never go to jail if he would plead guilty to a crime he did not commit and had never been a crime before on the books.  He refused .  The  governments objective was to convict Don Siegelman and they felt sure Richard Scrushy would agree to their offer.   Richard Scrushy could not bring himself to plead guilty to something that he felt was not a crime, nor would he strike a deal to send an innocent man to jail. 

It would have been alot easier on Richard Scrushy to have gone along with the government but he couldn't do what he thought was wrong. He has now as a result of that decision served 18 months for a crime he did not commit.   It is an odd twist of fate that Scrushy is now in jail and Don Siegelman is out an about but Richard Scrushy stood up to the government just like Binyam Mohamed and said no I will not plead to a crime I did not do, nor will I testify against a man who is innocent.  That innocent man he was talking about was Don Siegelman.  

Many people have said many things about Richard Scrushy but when the chips were down he chose to go to jail over testifying against an innocent man and pleading guilty to a crime he did  not commit.  I thought your readers should know this and I hope they don't forget Richard Scrushy and his family in their prayers  as he stood up to a corrupt Justice Department and is still fighting today the very system that would have  innocent men plead to  crimes they did not commit just so our Justice Department could save face. 

Today there are over 700 people in America like Richard Scrushy that are fighting  the Justice Department because they consider themselves political prisoners.They all thought at first they were the only one with this kind of problem but now realize it was a common plan and scheme by the Bush administration.   It is time for our nation to accept that our Justice Department lost her way during the Bush Adminstration and that Mr Karl Rove help turn the DOJ into a  political machine to establish Republican Rule.  It appears as a result of that  people at the Justice Department  forgot their duty is not to a President or to his political party but is to seek Justice for all.

When you look at the torture detainees and the American political prisoners you realize the Bush administration had no respect for humanity but their time is over and truly the reign of terror is gone for all these prisoners.   However it  is important that we move now to correct the errors of the last adminstration and free those who have wrongfully be held. Justice after all  is not having innocent men plead guilty to crimes they didn't commit, nor is it having people testify against innocent people to get deals.  Justice is about seeing what is right is done. 

I hope the Obama adminstration has seen the giant mess the Bush Adminstration has made and starts cleaning up the United States Justice Department as fast as they can.  After all there is no honor in having innocent men plead guilty to crimes they did not commit.  Nor is there honor in having innocent men in jails who stood up to the DOJ.  

The Obama Justice Department should start looking at cases like Richard Scrushy, Don Siegelman and Paul Minor and start releasing the political prisoners that the Bush Adminstration captured and held knowing these men were guilty of nothing but standing up for what they believed was right.  They further should start looking closely and freeing innocent Detainees around the world  The goal of our country should be to release all the prisoners who we know are innocent both here and overseas.  I over the weekend saw Obama and Holder both commit to getting to the truth and believe help may now be on the way to the DoJ.  Call and thank them for releasing the torture memos and ask them to free all innocent prisoners both here and overseas.    Pax tecum  


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Simpson is a country lawyer who resides in Rainsville, Alabama. She has appeared on 60 Minutes and Dan Abrams MSNBC. Stories were written in Time Magazine, Harpers Magazine, and the New York Times about her being a witness in the Don Siegelman case (more...)
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