Obama's--DoJ is asking Judge Mark Fuller to deny Don Siegelman's request for a new trial.
For Fuller is the one who managed Siegelman's judicial lynching in the first place, then had
him cuffed and shackled, and hustled quickly off to prison, and then spent months denying
Siegelman's right to appeal on an outrageous technicality.
Below this brief piece on the DoJ's latest move, there's a lot of very useful background on
the astoundingly corrupt Mark Fuller and this case in general: two pieces by Roger Shuler;
one by Scott Horton; and a bunch of pieces by Larisa Alexandrovna.
Prosecutors argue against new trial for Siegelman, Scrushy
Friday, August 28, 2009
News staff writer
MONTGOMERY - Federal prosecutors on Thursday asked a judge to deny former Gov. Don Siegelman's and HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy's request for a new trial, arguing that the men's 2006 trial was fair.
Defense lawyers have asked U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller to grant a new trial arguing, among other things, that newly discovered evidence showed the 2006 case was tainted by prosecutor misconduct. Siegelman's lawyers said that prosecutors scripted the testimony of their star witness, former Siegelman aide Nick Bailey, and failed to turn over Bailey's notes to defense lawyers.
"What is remarkable here is that defendants' new evidence claims do not rest on even a foundation as shaky as recantation testimony from a trial witness ... While the government did meet with Bailey prior to trial, preparing a witness to testify is not misconduct," prosecutors wrote.
Defense lawyers in their request for a new trial quoted Bailey's statements to others that the prosecutors were so frustrated that they made him write his testimony to get his story straight.
Prosecutors said they did not give Bailey a script. Any notes Bailey made were his own and not given to them and thus not required to be turned over to defense lawyers, prosecutors wrote.
"In any event, the government did not put words in Bailey's mouth and defendants' evidence to the contrary is insubstantial," prosecutors wrote.
Siegelman also argued in his request for a new trial that his prosecution was politically motivated. Louis Franklin, the lead prosecutor in the case, submitted a statement with the prosecution's filing saying that no politicians or Department of Justice officials pressured him regarding any aspect of the case.
A federal jury in 2006 convicted Siegelman and Scrushy of bribery, conspiracy and honest services mail fraud. Siegelman also was convicted on a separate obstruction of justice charge.
Prosecutors alleged Scrushy bribed Siegelman for a seat on the state Certificate of Need Review Board with $500,000 in contributions to Siegelman's 1999 lottery campaign. The board decides if hospitals can add new beds and services.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld all of the charges against Scrushy and most against Siegelman. Siegelman and Scrushy have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.
Two great pieces on Marl Fuller, by Roger Shuler:
By Scott Horton
Fuller denied without explanation the completely routine motion that Siegelman made to be let free on appeal. When the Court of Appeals directed him to state his reasons, he refused. They then directed him a second time to do so. He waited two months after the second order (and over three months after the original order) before acting, waiting until the Associated Press had published a major article bringing public attention to focus on the gross irregularities which marked his handling of the case and until Siegelman's lawyers made an emergency motion to the Court of Appeals to act. Then, suddenly, he released a 30-page opinion. That opinion, which I have examined and shared with several of my lawyer and legal academic colleagues, is farcical, the sort of thing that any judge would be ashamed to allow see the light of day. The one sensible thing that Judge Fuller did was mark it "not for publication," for indeed, why would he want anyone to read it? It reflects a third-rate legal mind. Most of it is a cobbled together pilferage from other documents filed in the case. It fails to provide any meaningful explanation for his decision. The weakness of this document serves further to underscore the now pervasive suspicions of improper motive.
Judge Fuller sits in a shadow which has grown progressively more sinister as time passes. Even before the allegations placing him in the proximity of a scheme to "get Siegelman," his conduct of the Siegelman trial raised eyebrows. He had been a member of the Alabama G.O.P.'s Executive Committee while Siegelman served in public office and was the G.O.P.'s prime target. He had managed G.O.P. political campaigns. After a state audit was commenced of his records as District Attorney, he claimed that this was a "politically motivated" act of the Siegelman administration. And as if those motives to "get even" weren't enough, in the course of last fall something still more sordid emerged (though, of course, Fuller knew it all along). A lengthy sworn attorney's affidavit leveled detailed charges of criminal wrongdoing against him that dwarfed the bogus charges which had been brought against Siegelman. The charges had been submitted to the Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section, and was pending with them, just as the Public Integrity Section was bringing the Siegelman prosecution in his court. Yet both the Justice Department and Judge Fuller, in a startling departure from the most fundamental requirements of judicial ethics, opposed his recusal from the case. The stench from this case just couldn't get any stronger.
And yet it continues to get stronger with each passing week. Part of Fuller's very unusual background lies in the fact that he's a businessman, and he continues to own a small business while he sits as a judge. That raises some complications. But then we get into the nature of his business and the complications soar. It seems that Fuller's business runs almost entirely from shadowy contracts awarded by the U.S. Government, prominently including the Department of Justice-that's right, the highly politicized agency which was prosecuting the Siegelman case in his court. And many of the other contracts came from the Department of Defense.
Now let's recall that the day after the sentencing of Governor Siegelman-a day which will live in lasting disgrace in the annals of justice-Governor Riley suddenly canceled his plans to speak to fellow Republicans in Cullman County, and rushed off to Washington. He said that he was meeting with the Air Force in order to promote the interests of some Alabama companies seeking contracts. True enough. And one of the Alabama companies then pushing aggressively for an extremely lucrative multimillion dollar Air Force contract was named Doss Aviation. The owner of Doss Aviation is Judge Mark Fuller.
And shortly after that sentencing came down and Governor Riley made his push for fellow Alabamians seeking Air Force contracts, the Bush Administration took an important decision. On October 4, this story appeared on the HT Media wire:
RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas, Oct. 4 - The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $18.1 million contract to Doss Aviation Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo., for flight screening for USAF pilot candidates. The contract was awarded by USAF's Air Education & Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.