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Alliance for Justice, a leading national association of environmental, civil rights, mental health, women’s, children’s, and consumer advocacy organizations, has just issued a statement in connection with today’s House Judiciary Committee hearings noting the growing evidence of improper conduct by three federal judges in connection with the Siegelman case. AFJ particularly singles out Mark Everett Fuller, the judge who conducted the trial in the Siegelman case and whose conduct is now drawing increasing attention across the country.
Judge Mark Fuller was nominated by President George W. Bush to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama in 2002. Judge Fuller had formerly served as district attorney for Alabama’s 12th Judicial Circuit. When then-Governor Siegelman appointed Judge Fuller’s successor, Gary McAliley, Mr. McAliley launched an investigation into Judge Fuller’s accounting practices in the district attorney’s office. This investigation revealed evidence that Judge Fuller had undertaken salary spiking with the purpose of defrauding the retirement system of Alabama. Judge Fuller dismissed these allegations, and the entire investigation, as “politically motivated…” Mr. Siegelman was indicted in federal court. Judge Fuller was assigned the case, and he refused to recuse himself, despite motions by [defense] lawyers to remove him from presiding over the case. Serious allegations have arisen that Judge Fuller conducted the trial in a manner favoring the prosecution. Whether or not accusations of actual misconduct by Judge Fuller during the trial are borne out, it is clear that hearing a case against the man Judge Fuller accused of conducting a politically motivated investigation against him undermined the appearance of impartiality required by the federal rules of judicial conduct.
AFJ also points to evidence that the Siegelman case has upturned concerning potential wrongdoing by two further judges: William Pryor, now a judge of the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and Noel Hillman, now a judge in New Jersey, and formerly the head of the Public Integrity Section. In that capacity, Hillman had oversight responsibility for the prosecution of Governor Siegelman. According to sworn testimony before the Judiciary Committee, Hillman had discussions with Karl Rove about the handling of the Siegelman case and acted on Rove’s instructions that the case be “properly resourced.”
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”