Critiques of the Judiciary
The Purloined Election
On March 27, 2008 Don Siegelman, the former Governor of Alabama, was released from federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana by the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, pending the outcome of his appeal . He had been sentenced to prison for seven years after a jury found him guilty of bribery charges in 2006. The malicious nature of his prosecution at the behest of Republican Party operatives who targeted the Democratic governor for replacement by a Republican, led to outcries of foul play by the media, leaders in the legal community, and both Democratic and Republican members of the Department of Justice. More than 50 former state attorneys general called for Congressional Hearings. Below, in his own words, is Siegelman's perspective on how he lost his reelection in 2002. At the time he gave this September, 2004 interview, Siegelman was fighting a series of charges that were dropped the following month. However, he was soon reindicted by a federal grand jury on a host of charges and was eventually convicted on seven of the counts. The ordeal was a major factor in Siegelman's defeat in the June, 2006 Democratic primary. The following year, he was sentenced to prison. Much has been written about the Siegelman case, and links to selected reprints (with videos) can be found after the endnotes on this Web page.
Don Siegelman Don Siegelman is the only person in the history of Alabama to be elected to serve in all four of the top statewide offices: Secretary of State, Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor and Governor. He served in Alabama politics for 26 years, sweeping the governorship on his last election with 57% of the vote, including over 90% of the African-American electorate. He served as Alabama's Governor from 1999-2003 .
Photo by Rob Carr, Associated Press
- Adam Nossiter, "Ex-Governor of Alabama Is Ordered Released," The New York Times, March 28, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/28/us/28alabama.html, accessed 08/01/08.
- Joan Brunwasser, "Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman talks to Sam Seder at Netroots Convention 7/18," OpEdNews, July 14, 2008, http://www.opednews.com/articles/Former-Alabama-Gov--Don-Si-by-Joan-Brunwasser-080714-507.html, accessed 08/04/08.
- In May, 2003 Julie Sigwart with other co-founders of the Web site Take Back the Media was named a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Talk Radio Network, Inc. after the Web site strongly criticized one of the network's
talk-showhosts. See: Don Waller, "Commentary," http://www.takebackthemedia.com/com-lawsuit-6-6.html, accessed 08/05/08.
- A University of Alabama at Birmingham editor who worked in the university's Publications Office was fired from his job, apparently for writing about the Siegelman case on his personal blog. See: Roger Shuler, "Alabama Blogger is Fired Over Siegelman Coverage," OpEdNews, July 25, 2008, http://www.opednews.com/articles/Alabama-Blogger-is-Fired-O-by-Roger-Shuler-080715-415.html, accessed 08/04/08.
- Alabama Attorney General William Pryor, who certified the unofficial vote recount that cost Governor Siegelman his reelection, was appointed by President Bush in February, 2004 to the Federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, bypasing the process of confirmation by the Senate which had objected to Pryor's elevation to the bench on ideological grounds. See: Jeffrey McMurry, "Bush bypasses Senate for judge," The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, February 21, 2004,
p. A-5(from The Associated Press). Objections to the Pryor nomination are summarized in an extensive report (PDF), "William Pryor: Unfit to Judge," prepared by People for the American Way and published on its Web site: http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=10900, accessed 08/26/2004.
- For details about the recount that cost Don Siegelman his reelection, see: Steve McConnell, "The changing of the guards: Bay Minette, election night," BaldwinCountyNow.com, July 20, 2007, http://www.baldwincountynow.com/articles/2007/07/20/local_news/doc469fbb5bd2a7f444039407.txt, accessed 08/01/08.
- For additional information on election fraud, see the collection of essays assembled by Mark Crispin Miller, editor, Loser Take All: Election Fraud and The Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008, Ig Publishing,
200 pp., 2008. See also: Carl Bernofsky, "Election Fraud Suspected in Defeat of South Dakota Judicial Accountability Initiative," Tulanelink.com, November 10, 2006, http://www.tulanelink.com/jail/tulanelink_06a.htm.
Video from: newsfromunderground, "Don Siegelman Speaks! Part 1," [YouTube Video] December 17, 2007, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymqcU5zOPSg, and "Don Siegelman Speaks! Part 2," [YouTubeVideo] December 17, 2007, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUYOSruz4dw, accessed 08/04/08. Reproduced in accordance with the "fair use" provision of Title 17 U.S.C.
§ 107for a non-profit educational purpose.
THE PURLOINED ELECTIONJUSTICE IN ALABAMA IJUSTICE IN ALABAMA II CLANDESTINE VOTE COUNTINGPOLITIZATION OF JUSTICE IPOLITIZATION OF JUSTICE II
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