Former Alabama governor Don Siegelman is stepping up his campaign to persuade Attorney General Eric Holder to take another look at his case.
Seventy-five former state attorneys general, including ten Republicans, have sent a letter to Holder saying that Siegelman’s defense lawyers have raised “gravely troublesome facts” about whether he got a fair trial, reports the New York Times. The letter cites Holder’s recent decision to ask that the charges against Ted Stevens be dropped, thanks to prosecutors’ failure to turn over evidence to the defense, as required. It argues that there is evidence of similar misconduct in Siegelman’s case, and that the charges should similarly be dropped if that’s borne out in an investigation.Earlier this month, Siegelman’s lawyer sent a letter to Holder making a similar point, and asking the AG to review the case.
The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the Siegelman case, so Holder may be inclined to wait for the results of that effort before making any move. A spokesman for DOJ pointed out to the Times that an appeals court panel recently upheld Siegelman’s conviction, and because he is appealing that decision, “the department will continue to litigate this matter in the courts, not in the media.”
Siegelman, a Democrat, was convicted in 2006 in connection with appointing a contributor to a state board. But substantial evidence has since emerged that his prosecution was politically motivated, and that the prosecution, the judge, and the jurors all committed misconduct during the trial.