Thursday, October 07, 2004
On this day:

Mobile Register Weighs in on the Siegelman Trial

This editorial in the Mobile Register yesterday makes several valid points for why the conspiracy charges against Siegelman and Hamrick should not have been thrown out.
  1. "It disrespected the work of a grand jury of ordinary citizens that found the charges strong enough to indict Mr. Siegelman."
  2. "It presumed that a regular trial jury of citizens would automatically agree with Judge Clemon's opinion of the case."
  3. "Judge Clemon's own impartiality had been seriously questioned by both the prosecution and by respected independent observers. By summarily dismissing the charges, the judge only exacerbated public suspicions that the political 'fix' was in."
  4. "The prosecution's case, as reported for months in newspaper accounts, was compelling on the merits."

It concludes that "Judge Clemon was almost certainly out of line in throwing out the case." "Juries certainly aren't perfect, but they, not judges, are supposed to represent the common sense of the general public. Judges who don't know their own place as a jury's helper, not its lord, are a plague on our constitutional system."

Nonetheless, Siegelman's lawyers are ratcheting up their criticism of the prosecution team.