Posted 5 years ago on Sept. 14, 2012, 10:11 a.m. EST by ZenDogTroll
from South Burlington, VT
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Groups as diverse as Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, to the Huffington Post, from Al Gore to Wesley Clark, all seem to agree. The legal case that follows has no merit, and is no more than the result of political vendetta. This vendetta has resulted in a five year prison sentence for what sources claim are bogus charges.
This, from the State of Alabama.
Judge for yourself:
Five years ago, my dad, Don Siegelman, was taken away in handcuffs and shackles. Many came to see his case as a travesty of justice (see 60 Minutes) It has been a tumultuous struggle within the court system and a huge blow to our faith in government. He has lost his reputation, practically all his assets, and his freedom. I desperately need your help to free my father. Please sign this petition to President Obama asking him to restore justice and pardon my dad!
Gov. Don Siegelma was the 51st Governor of Alabama, serving from 1999 to 2003. He served in Alabama in public office for 26 years and is the only person in the history of the state to be elected to serve in all four of the top statewide elected positions: Secretary of State, Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor and Governor.
My dad was wrongfully convicted in 2007 in a case that Pace Law Professor Bennett Gershman called "one of the most egregiously bad faith prosecutions by the Justice Department ever. Numerous public servants such as Al Gore, John Kerry and Wesley Clark believe my father was wrongly prosecuted and wrongly convicted.
The American Trial Lawyer Magazine called Dad America's "Political Prisoner #1." The New York Times said my dad was charged with something that has never even been considered a crime in America, and CBS 60 Minutes reported that the prosecution team coached key witness Nick Bailey more than 70 times and offered him a deal to testify against my father.
Conservative columnist George Will expressed in The Washington Post, “Everyone who cares about the rule of law should hope the Supreme Court agrees to hear Don Siegelman’s appeal; today’s confusion and the resulting prosecutorial discretion kill the exercise of Constitutional right, of political participation and can imprison people unjustly.”
More than 100 state Attorney Generals, both Republican and Democrat, many law professors, and thousands of people like you, have tried to help, garnering the attention of the media, organizing letter campaigns, and writing excellent articles, but ultimately the case was left to the courts. Even Fox Business News sympathized with Dad!
113 current and former state Attorney Generals from across the U.S. signed a brief to the U.S. Congress and Supreme Court saying, “There is reason to believe that the case brought against Governor Siegelman may have had sufficient irregularities as to call into question the basic fairness that is the linchpin of our system of justice.”
Fred Gray, attorney to Rosa Parks, and Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, both close companions to the late Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., came to court to hold my mom's hand the day of sentencing in 2007. They wrote letters to the Department of Justice, to Congress, and to the President to convey that Don Siegelman is the “ target of the Bush Justice Department, which has now endangered the style of government we fought so hard for.”
However, this is not about Democrats versus Republicans, far from it. It is simply about what's right and wrong, what is fair and what is not. As Thomas Jefferson said, "A prosecutor who alleges enough wrong doing will always get a conviction." Former U.S. Attorney General Robert H. Jackson said, "If the prosecutor is obliged to choose his cases, it follows that he can choose his defendants. Therein is the most dangerous power..."
This petition is much more than just one man's freedom. It is about American freedom. If this can happen to my dad, as governor, it can happen to anyone. The law is so unclear, all it takes is a prosecutor with a vendetta against you. As Dad explained when the surprise verdict came in 2007; “This is dangerous to our democracy and it is wrong. If this ruling stands, rogue prosecutors or a rogue Justice Department can prosecute contributors and elected officials they simply do not like.”
Please join me in asking President Obama to pardon my dad and let this issue stand before Congress and the Supreme Court.
Al Gore appealed, "Don Siegelman isn't just fighting for his freedom - he's fighting for the integrity of our democracy... As Americans, we have a responsibility to protect our democracy from those who would take advantage of it and abuse their power.”
Please sign and share my petition asking President Obama to grant Don Siegelman clemency!
The Supreme Court has denied my dad’s appeal, and he has been re-sentenced to more than five years in prison. At this point, my dad’s only hope is a commutation of sentence or pardon. Our hope for truth lies in holding our elected officials accountable. Our hope for justice is a great public outcry. Please join me in asking the President of the United States for clemency in my dad’s case by signing the petition on Change.org and sharing this message publicly however you can. By doing so we may one day clarify the law and keep our democracy and freedom intact.
Sources contained in this letter:
- 60 Minutes
- Gov. Don Siegelma
- Huffington Post - Pace Law Professor Bennett Gershman
- Al Gore
- John Kerry
- Wesley Clark
- American Trial Lawyer Magazine
- The New York Times
- George Will
- 100 state Attorney Generals
- Fox Business News
- 113 current and former state Attorney Generals
- target of the Bush Justice Department
- It is about American freedom
There are a lot of links above, if you find any that don't work, let me know and I will correct them. You can view the original letter at: