AUGUST 07 2007

1. An Interview: Given the amount of money Judge Fuller’s company
gets from government contracts, any reasonable person would
question how impartial he could be. He should not have taken this
case, and with a recusal motion made, he had no option but to drop
out.
2. Scrushy and Siegelman Seek to Overturn their Convitions
3. Spoils System Long in Place
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An Interview with Legal Ethicist David Luban
Regarding Judge Mark Fuller
Scott Horton of Harper's

Horton: The main question regarding Judge Mark Fuller’s behavior in
the Siegelman case is whether it was appropriate for him to have
taken the case in the first place.

Luban: What amazes me about these facts is that they combine past
political activism against the governor, a possible grudge against the
governor, and the judge’s company’s financial dependence on the
government’s good graces. If they’re right (I don’t have any
independent knowledge of that), any one by itself would raise
reasonable questions about the judge’s ability to be impartial. Taken
together, we have a perfect storm. Under these circumstances,
impartiality would take superhuman self-control, and we don’t expect
judges to be superhuman. The recusal standard is designed so that
we don’t have to expect it.

<link to Harper's>

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Scrushy & Siegelman Seek to Overturn
Convictions
White Collar Crime Prof Blog

Former Gov. Don Siegelman (Alabama) and former CEO of
HealthSouth Richard Scrushy moved for the dismissal of their
criminal convictions.  According to the Birmingham News
<here> and
the Wall Street Jrl
<here>, the two are arguing that campaign
contributions should not be the basis for the indictment. This is not a
new argument, and the Supreme Court has struggled on two prior
occasions with the role of campaign contributions when the Hobbs
Act (extortion) is charged.  The Court required a quid pro quo
(McCormick), but allowed passive acceptance to be a basis of a
Hobbs Act violation involving a campaign contribution. (Evans).  

It also sounds like there will be an argument claiming that the
prosecution exceeded the statute of limitations in bringing a charge.  

<link to source>

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Spoils system long in place
Letters from Zack Buckner  Montgomery Advertiser

This is why the prosecution of Gov. Siegelman was so strange to so
many. Siegelman appointed the people who supported him to
positions. I am sure most of the people whom he appointed
contributed to his campaign. Did all those people also bribe
Siegelman for their positions?

Or did only Richard Scrushy's money bribe Siegelman for his
appointment? Were the prosecutors so hell-bent on getting Scrushy
that they did not care who they destroy in the process?

It is sad that our federal prosecutors must selectively prosecute
members of the opposition party in order to keep their jobs. It is clear
from the congressional hearing that federal prosecutors who did not
prosecute Democrats were fired. Even worse for America, the
Democrats are going to do the same thing when they eventually win
the presidential election.

<link to the Montgomery Advertiser>
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photo by Phil Fleming

Chief Judge Mark E. Fuller,
U.S. District Court for the
Middle District of Alabama
and
President of Doss Aviation
Address used on
2002 Doss Annual Report  
is the Montgomery Courthouse
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Legal Ethicist
David Luban
photo: Harper's
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