More than 100 former state attorneys general revealed on Thursday that they support the latest appeal by former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman (D), who’s petitioning the Supreme Court to reconsider the corruption charges that sent him to jail in 2006.
Siegelman, one of the nation’s most famous political prisoners, was convicted in what prosecutors described as a pay-to-play scheme. They alleged that Siegelman appointed former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to a hospital regulatory board after Scrushy organized $500,000 in donations for Siegelman’s campaign to launch a statewide lottery. The governor was ultimately charged with 32 counts of bribery and other crimes and convicted on seven counts, after one of his top aides testified against him.
In the 2012 amicus brief, Seigelman’s attorneys argue that his conviction ultimately boiled down to “the criminalization of First Amendment freedoms — the giving and receiving of campaign contributions — based on an indefinite standard that will significantly alter the liberty of constituents to contribute to political campaigns without fear of criminal liability and the desire of citizens to run for political office in a system that largely depends on private contributions.”
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