[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] on Friday denied the petition of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman (D) [official profile; JURIST news archive] and former HealthSouth [corporate website] CEO Richard Scrushy [JURIST news archive] for an en banc rehearing of their convictions on charges of corruption. The petitioners cited as grounds [petition, PDF] for rehearing the court's alleged misinterpretation of 18 USC § 1512(b)(3) [text]. Specifically, petitioners asserted that questions of exceptional importance exist in evaluating:
Whether the word "explicit," in the "explicit promise or undertaking" element of proof in alleged bribery cases involving campaign or issue- advocacy contributions, means what the word means in ordinary usage, i.e., expressly communicated, the opposite of implicit or whether (as the panel concluded) an implicit quid pro quo linkage counts as "explicit," so long as there was a particular action that was implicitly to be exchanged for the contribution.The court, however, rejected the request for review. Siegelman and Scrushy now plan to appeal [AP report] to the US Supreme Court [official website].
In March, a three-judge panel upheld [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] the 2006 convictions [DOJ press release; JURIST report] of Siegelman and Scrushy on federal bribery and corruption charges. The appeals court reversed two counts of mail fraud against Siegelman based a lack of evidence, but upheld the remaining five charges. All of the charges against Scrushy were upheld. Last week, Alabama's Jefferson County Circuit Court [official website] began hearing a $2.6 billion derivative lawsuit brought by HealthSouth shareholders against Scrushy for his role in the accounting fraud scheme at the company.