Siegelman Released from Prison

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From The Birmingham News:

Former Gov. Don Siegelman will be released from prison, after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted him an appeal bond, the lead prosecutor in the case said.

Acting U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin said he received a courtesy call from the court today. “He’s going to be released,” Franklin said.

He said he was disappointed but said, “The 11th Circuit has the discretion to do that and I respect that.”

Update: I just got off the phone with Hiram Eastland, one of Siegelman’s lawyers, who said that today the appeals court had issued a “straightforward” four-page order simply finding that there were, indeed, “substantial questions” raised by Siegelman’s appeal. The ruling overruled the controversial finding by the district judge in the case, which had sent Siegelman immediately to prison after his conviction. Eastland said that Siegelman could be released as early as tonight or tomorrow morning at the latest. “We’re obviously very gratified that the court gave it that thoughtful consideration,” he said. “The governor is coming home!”

Siegelman’s release means, obviously, that the House Judiciary Committee won’t have to go through the trouble of getting Siegelman released for him to testify.