Dubious Email Exchange Between Jurors Could Derail Protracted Scrushy/Siegelman Bribery Case

From White Collar Crime Blog

JAN. 21, 2007 — With sentencing yet to happen in the Scrushy/Siegelman case, things are heating up. First there was the talk about emails, but the court initially rejected the new trial motion premised upon this. (see here). The question involves whether there was juror misconduct related to emails. But the court did order the government to respond to the defense motion regarding a new trial. Now a WSFA TV-12 report (here) discusses the latest developments in the case.

The government is calling the emails – “inherently discreditable.” And the defense is requesting the court to reconsider its order. Interestingly, the government appears to be arguing that the emails are “too good to be true.” But the defense is clearly at a disadvantage at trying to prove their cause here in that they do not have the resources of the government and Siegelman may be feeling the pressures of the high cost of attorney fees. (see Al.com here – noting “his legal bills are nearing $1 million in connection with his 2006 corruption conviction.”)

It is important to remember that the government is not an advocate, but rather serves as a “minister of justice.” Whether there is merit or not to these emails remains to be seen. But what is clear is that the government should want the truth to prevail and not want to proceed to sentencing if an injustice occurred at trial.

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