I'm from Alabama and I know Don Siegelman. I know this man. I know what his vision was for Alabama, from the time he was in high school. I was in it up to my neck with him in Montgomery in the late 70s. I was a prison reformer/anti-death penalty advocate, he was a candidate for Secretary of State, his first statewide elected office. Most people wouldn't listen to me about prison reform, but Don did. I did volunteer work on his campaign, I hung out with him and his friends. They were people like us. People who wanted to make things better.
Don's no angel. No one is. But there's a reason the people of Red State Republican Alabama elected this Democrat to all four of the state's highest offices. He cared about them, and those among them with any sense knew it.
The Republicans raised hell with him for trying to start an education lottery like the one in Georgia that has sent my son through college for basically nothing. What a terrible thing to try to do for Alabama, but the Republicans made the fundies hate him for it. Gambling! Yeah, focus on that and not the sad fact that your kids can't afford to go to college. They defeated his effort and reviled him for trying to help kids go to school. This is why the people loved him and the republicans and their dupes hated him – he tried too hard to help.
He was very popular, and for good reason. That made him dangerous to certain interests. They have railroaded this man for political reasons, anyone who tells you otherwise is full of it. If you have any doubt, read this, or watch the 60 Minutes video below. His very popularity and his vision for a better America made him a threat. That's why he sits in jail to this day – much to the shame of everybody involved.
Actually, the first question is why Don Siegelman was prosecuted and jailed at all. The second question is why President Obama has not yet pardoned him or commuted his sentence. Of all the abusive, vindictive, and politically-driven prosecutions by the U.S. Department of Justice, the prosecution of Don Siegleman stands at the top. Over a hundred Attorneys General from both political parties have condemned the legality of his prosecution. The House Judiciary Committee has documented the partisan cabal between the Bush White House and the Justice Department to take down Siegelman and destroy his career. Commentary by journalists, academics, and disinterested observers has uniformly decried the legal and ethical irregularities that contaminated his prosecution and blackened the reputation of the Justice Department. Despite all this, President Obama, apparently on advice from his "Pardon Attorneys," has refused to grant Siegelman a pardon or commute his seven-year sentence. Why?Why indeed. Where is Don Siegelman's pardon Mister President?
More from Professor Gershman from the same article:
There is overwhelming evidence to conclude that Siegelman was targeted for prosecution not because he committed any crimes but because of who he was. Grant Woods, a Republican and former Attorney General of Arizona, stated: "This was a Republican state and Siegelman was the one Democrat they could never get rid of." Former Alabama U.S. Attorney Doug Jones stated: "It appeared that agents were not investigating any allegations of a crime, but were fishing around for anything they could find against an individual." Former Republican Congressman from Alabama Parker Griffith called the Siegelman case a "political assassination."A political assassination, a well-documented one, and no one will help him. Not the Democratic party, not Holder, not Obama – none of those who should be interested in helping right this wrong, are. Over a hundred Attorneys General, the House Judiciary Committee, 60 Minutes, and on it goes, have raised strenuous objections, raised red flags, have petitioned for his pardon and release. Yet he remains in a federal prison in Louisiana.
From Dana Siegelman at FreeDon.org:
The clemency effort continues as does the appeal process! There is the appeal of the denial of our motion for a new trial and an appeal for a lighter sentence.Thank you for your kind attention, thank you for helping Don Siegelman and thank you for helping right this terrible wrong. We are no longer America if we let this stand.
Both briefs are due at the end of May. We still need your financial help. Whatever you can give and want to contribute (nothing is too small and certainly not too large) will be appreciated and useful. Please donate here.
The same is true for Dad's commissary account. A small contribution of $10, $25 or $50 contribution each month will help a great deal. He has to pay for all calls ($0.23 a minute), letters (paper, stamps, envelopes), clothes (socks, sweaters, hats, shoes), and any food after 2:30pm (which includes dinner and all snacks). Total expenses each month come to around $550.00.
To put money in Dad's account:
1. Go to a Western Union Outlet (Public's grocery stores have them) or
2. Call 1-800-634-3422 or
3. Online at www.westernunion.com a. Select: Bill Payment b. Select: Quick Collect
You will need Dad's name: Don Siegelman
His prison #: 24775-001
and the Institution: Oakdale Federal Prison Camp, Oakdale Louisiana (71467)
We appreciate you so much regardless if you are able to give. We are grateful to have you in our lives!
Dana and family
Please sign the petition