Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy earned a minor victory recently when a federal appeals court overturned two of their convictions, but upheld most of their convictions, The Birmingham News reports.
Such victories are possible with the help of an experienced Alabama criminal defense attorney who is ready to fight for your rights, whether at the trial level or in the event that the case needs to be litigated on appeal. An appeal is extremely important, especially in the complex federal court system.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appealsoverturned convictions against the two men based on arguments that prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to convict. But the court rejected arguments for reversal under the honest services fraud law, which was recently changed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling. The law, which was vague and difficult to interpret, was clarified to apply only to people who receive bribes or kickbacks. The appellate court upheld five other counts against Siegelman and four other counts against Scrushy.
According to The News, a jury convicted Scrushy and Siegelman of federal funds bribery and honest services fraud. Prosecutors alleged Scrushy bought a seat on a state health board by bribing Siegelman with $500,000 in campaign donations. Siegelman also was convicted on an unrelated obstruction of justice charge.
The 11th Circuit sent the case back to the federal court in Montgomery so the two men can be re-sentenced, though the case may be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Siegelman has been free on bond during the appeal, but has been sentenced to serve seven years in prison. Scrushy, however, has been serving his seven-year sentence in a Texas prison.