In 2006, former Democratic Alabama governor Don Siegelman was sentenced to serve seven years in a bribery case. Siegelman charges that he was the victim of political persecution by former Bush official Karl Rove, and his case has been plagued by improper conduct by the prosecution. In 2008, a “bipartisan group of 54 former state attorneys general from across the country” supported Siegelman’s bid to overturn his conviction, but a year later, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta upheld five of the seven charges. Today, however, the Supreme Court gave Siegelman a second chance, ordering the court to look at his case again:
The Supreme Court ordered the 11th Circuit to review the appeals again in light of a high-court ruling last week that found fault with part of the government’s prosecution of former Enron Corp. Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling. The justices used Mr. Skilling’s case to narrow the reach of a federal law that allowed prosecutors to bring cases against company executives and government officials who deprived the public of “the intangible right of honest services.”
Some of the charges in the Scrushy and Siegelman cases also involved the federal honest-services law.
The high-court’s decision to send the cases back for further proceedings at the appeals court doesn’t necessarily mean that the men’s convictions will be affected.