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General News    H3'ed 8/15/11

Verdict in Federal Bingo Trial Shines New Light on the Don Siegelman Case

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Message Roger Shuler

Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

The outcome of the federal Alabama bingo trial, which produced zero convictions for nine defendants and 37 counts, has been described as "one of the most remarkable setbacks nationally" for federal prosecutors in decades. It also has been described as a "humiliation of epic proportions" for the Obama Justice Department and its Bush DOJ holdovers.

In a narrower sense, the bingo verdict provides proof that the Don Siegelman case, perhaps the most notorious political prosecution in American history, was unlawfully decided. It also provides proof that at least one other Bush-era political prosecution, that of Mississippi attorney Paul Minor, was unlawfully decided.

Ironically, the proof comes from the reporting of The Birmingham News,  perhaps the leading mainstream-media cheerleader for federal prosecutors in "public corruption" cases.

Do you want even more irony? The Birmingham News has repeatedly praised the work of prosecutors and judges who ramrodded the Siegelman case--and the newspaper has hinted over and over that, in its view, the Siegelman case was decided correctly.

Isn't it interesting, then, that Alabama's largest newspaper winds up providing proof that the Siegelman case was NOT correctly decided. Do you think the News' editorial higher ups, the leading mouthpieces for

our state's corrupt elites, will even notice what they have done? I doubt it.

Since the verdict was announced last Thursday, the News' coverage has reflected this primary theme: The defendants really were guilty, but prosecutors from Washington screwed up the case. As usual, columnist John Archibald carries the water for his big bosses, with a piece titled "Verdict No Surprise: Prosecutors Bungled Bingo Case." Consider this analysis from Archibald:

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
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