By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2015, 6:28pm PT  

From AP late today:

A federal appeals court has upheld the bribery conviction and prison sentence of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.

The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Siegelman was not entitled to a new trial. The judges also upheld Siegelman's 78-month sentence.

The ruling is the latest legal blow to Siegelman, who has been fighting to overturn his 2006 conviction in a government corruption case. A federal jury convicted Siegelman of appointing former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to a state board in exchange for campaign donations.

Siegelman, a Democrat, had argued that a prosecutor with ties to GOP politics remained involved in his case despite her recusal. Federal judges said there was no evidence she influenced the prosecution team

Siegelman is projected to get out of prison in 2017.

See below for an appearance of mine on Thom Hartmann's television show in 2013 discussing the status of the Siegelman case at the time. Hartmann describes him as "America's Political Prisoner". The appearance coincided with the dismissal of the conviction against former Republican U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay for money laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars. 113 bi-partisan former state Attorneys General have stated that what Siegelman was convicted of had never been a crime until he was charged with it.

The court's decision, however, could help to finally clear the way for clemency or a pardon from the President, as advocates have long sought. See Jeffrey Toobin's January 2015 New Yorker column calling for same.

Meanwhile, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller (the former head of the Alabama GOP and George W. Bush-appointed federal judge who oversaw Siegelman's trial and sentencing after refusing to recuse himself despite long-held grudges against the popular Democratic governor) remains a free man. His criminal record has been expunged despite having been arrested for allegedly beating his wife in a hotel room last summer. (911 call here and embed below.) Unless impeached by Congress, Fuller will retain his $200k/year seat on the federal bench for life.

More info at Free-Don.org.

USA. USA. USA.

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UPDATE 5/22/2015: My BradCast interview with Siegelman's son Joseph, in response to the news above and what the Siegelman legal team plans to do next, is now posted here.

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My 2013 appearance on Hartmann's show and a video snippet of the chilling 911 call from Judge Fuller's wife in 2014, both follow below...