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.”
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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