Over the last decade, a mountain of information concerning former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman has been disseminated throughout the nation. Convicted of bribery and obstruction of justice in 2006 in relation to a $500,000 contribution to the governor’s lottery campaign by former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy, Siegelman was sentenced to six years in federal prison.
Siegelman, formerly Inmate #24775-001 of the Federal Correctional Institution of Oakdale, Louisiana, is now back home in Birmingham, and recently had his ankle monitor removed after six months under house arrest that followed his Feb. 8 release from prison.
Once on a professional trajectory that included a planned run for the Democratic presidential nomination, Siegelman has long maintained that he was a victim of politically motivated selective prosecution.
His proponents argue that he’s been persecuted for speaking out, winding up in solitary confinement after speaking to reporters from prison, and having a screening of a documentary about his case, “Atticus v. The Architect: The Political Assassination of Don Siegelman,” at Montgomery’s Capri Theater canceled by the theater’s board of directors, of which Leura Canary, a former federal prosecutor with ties to the case, is a member.
Questions about his prosecution and conviction – and treatment in prison – have been raised by legal scholars, jurists and pundits across the nation over the years. There are many unusual elements to the case. Prosecutors characterized Scrushy’s donation as a bribe, citing Siegelman’s subsequent appointment of Scrushy to the state Certificate of Need board, to which Scrushy had been appointed twice by previous governors; Siegelman advocates say such appointments of campaign contributors are made routinely by elected officials. The judge who oversaw Siegelman’s…