Seanathan (kick_em_out) wrote in jewish_dems,
Seanathan
kick_em_out
jewish_dems

My friend Dana is in trouble.  Specifically her father is in trouble.  Her father Don Siegelman is the former governor of Alabama, a Democrat.  He is currently serving a particularly nasty federal prison sentence for crimes that he may not have committed.  Not only does he seem to be not guilty of the charges brought against him, there is strong evidence that these charges were manufactured by friends of the White House if not the White House itself.  

Dana and I both attend California State University Long Beach.  I met her at a student function last spring.  She is one of the sweetest, friendliest people I've ever met.  As I knowing no one stood more or less by myself as so many others huddled in selective cliques, Dana took the time to introduce herself and chat, a seemingly innocuous and simple thing that means the world in such an environment.  The pain she must be in - seeing her father wrongfully incarcerated - must be monumental.  

But the pain of a friend alone is not enough to dedicate energy and resources to helping in this cause.  I had to be absolutely sure that there was improper procedure involved in the indictment, conviction and sentencing of Don Siegelman. I’ve done my research and I am sure.  Let me share it with you.

-Don was a popular governor who held all four statewide offices.  He was elected governor in 1998 yet defeated in 2002 after a computer glitch in the voting machines allegedly showed uncounted votes that at the last minute bumped the challenger into a win.  

-When Don called for a recount, he was slapped with twenty-five indictments for the charges of bribery and mail fraud.

-A sworn affidavit, signed by Republican Lawyer, Dana Jill Simpson stated that she heard Bill Canary, a Republican operative and a Karl Rove protégé; say that his “girls” — his wife, the United States attorney in Montgomery, and Alice Martin, the United States attorney in Birmingham — would “take care” of Mr. Siegelman. Mr. Canary also said, according to Ms. Simpson, that Mr. Rove was involved. (NY Times)

-There is significant evidence that the trial itself may have been corrupted as the Judge had numerous political ties to the Republican Party, specifically Senator Jeff Sessions and that the prosecutors had ties to Karl Rove and President George H. W. Bush. 

- In addition the prosecution and the Judge acted improperly in the application of the proceedings by repeatedly allowing the prosecution to present it's evidence even after the initial presentation, thereby giving the prosecution an unfair advantage 
  

- The Jury who initially deadlocked were forced to deliberate further until they came to a resolution which was based on pressuring other jurors into a conviction by using evidence from outside the court room.  Later statements by some jurors claimed that they were "doing what Judge Fuller wanted them to do." (Harpers)

- These articles paint a broader picture of the injustice done to Governor Siegelman

1. Time Magazine

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1627427,00.html

2.  The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/06/opinion/06mon1.html?_r=2&th&emc=th&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

3.  Harpers Magazine

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/08/hbc-90000714

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/07/hbc-90000614

The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed records of the Siegelman case from the Justice Department but so far, the Justice Department has stonewalled and has engaged in foot dragging.

http://judiciary.house.gov/Media/PDFS/Conyers-Etall070717.pdf

Dana's request which I am forwarding to you is to continue the drumbeat on this matter to Congress.  Write your Congressperson and your local media outlets and remind them how important it is that our judiciary system is free from political corruption and that the courtroom is a place where justice is done, not where political vendettas are waged.  This is not a separate incident, merely an extension of the corruption and scandal that this administration has plagued our courts with from day one.  Urge your representative to support the Judiciary Committee's actions in the investigation of this matter.  Urge the press to follow any developments that may occur and encourage them to write stories and editorials on this.  Write your own letters to the editors.  Urge the committee members themselves if you are in their districts to take swifter action on this matter.  Most importantly remind both Congress and the press that this is more than a political battle.  This is the restoration of a family that has been torn asunder for tawdry political gain.  

How many times over the course of the past six years have we lamented some wrong perpetrated by the Bush administration?  How many times have we bemoaned the war or the economy?  How many times have we shaken with anger at the response to Hurricane Katrina or the blasé attitude towards torture?  We hear of these events and these evil actions (or inactions) of the White House and the Government and we grow red with anger, disbelief and disgust.  Many of us can point to a Bush policy and say, “Look at what this policy has done to my student loans,” or “look at how high gas prices have risen,” or God forbid, “I lost someone close in Iraq.”  It is frustrating, it is painful and it is loathsome that we as Americans are experiencing in so many areas – hardships that are a result of the administrations botched policies and bitter politics.  However, few of us can claim that the President and his cadre have personally destroyed the lives and livelihoods of our families and our loved ones.  Dana can claim that.  Dana can say with full sincerity that the Bush administration has personally reached out and shattered her family.  Consider that when you write your letters.

If you have any questions about writing letters, making calls or anything you can e-mail me at justice4don@yahoo.com, or by all means post here.  If you are local (meaning Orange County, Los Angeles or San Diego) we may be able to coordinate our actions.  If you are in Alabama, I can get you in touch with people out there.  Please feel free to forward this posting. 

Thanks on behalf of Don, Dana and the rest of the Siegelman family,

Sean Sagan

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