[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.