Injustice in America: Don Siegelman, Part I

Today and tomorrow I depart from commenting on the media in order to raise awareness of a contemporary political injustice. The story of Don Siegelman, former governor of Alabama, is astounding given the facts of his case and also for the inattention it has received at virtually every level of the American legal system, never mind the media. 

The back-story to the Siegelman case is lengthy and composed of two primary parts: his loss in the 2002 Alabama gubernatorial race and his more recent conviction and imprisonment on bribery charges. Today I will deal with his loss in the 2002 election; tomorrow, the allegation of bribery.


Don Siegelman was a successful Democrat in the fiercely Republican State of Alabama. On the eve of the 2002 gubernatorial race, the Associated Press declared Siegelman the winner. He went to bed believing he had won. He awoke to reports that electronic voting machines had “malfunctioned” in one particular county. Once the votes had been retallied, his Republic opponent claimed victory. Both the Siegelman campaign and the Democratic Party protested the retallying of votes because it was performed in seclusion by a local Republic election committee; by the time the votes were retallied, all Democratic officials had left the voting site. Thus, the new election results were verified by a partisan group alone.

In a candid interview, Siegelman says his request for a public and verifiable recount was denied and that the final election results were certified earlier than permitted by Alabama law. But Siegelman admits it was an extremely close race and, deciding to live to fight another day, he conceded defeat.

It is interesting to note that the Alabama Attorney General’s political consultant at the time was none other than Karl Rove and that it was the State Attorney General, Bill Pryor, who denied Siegleman’s request for a hand recount of the 2002 election. Justice Pryor was subsequently appointed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush in 2004. His administration is widely accused of hiring and firing justices based on their political dispositions—a diversity of viewpoints on the bench is preferable. The most famous case involved the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales over dismissals that occurred in the Federal Department of Justice.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
  • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
  • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Keep reading Show less

People who constantly complain are harmful to your health

Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.

Photo credit: Getty Images / Stringer
popular

Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.

Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.

Keep reading Show less
Videos
  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
Keep reading Show less