Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman will find out today if he will have to go back to prison.
Siegelman arrived Friday morning at the federal courthouse in Montgomery to be re-sentenced for his 2006 conspiracy conviction. Siegelman spent nine months in prison for conspiring to hide a bribe from then HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy. He was allowed out of prison more than four years ago to appeal his conviction, but those appeals have since been denied.
In court filings this week preparing for today's resentencing, Siegelman's attorney asked for leniency, saying Siegelman has been humiliated by the case and suffered financial hardship. Attorney Susan James said Friday the witness list for today's resentencing had been narrowed, but it would still be this afternoon before all of the witnesses could testify.
Judge Mark Fuller is expected to then sentence Siegelman this afternoon. Fuller says the maximum sentence Siegelman faces is 88 months, or seven years and four months. His previous sentence was 80 months and he has already served nine months of that sentence.
It is unknown, however, if Siegelman will have to report to prison immediately or if he will be allowed to report to prison in a few weeks.
Judge Fuller said today there is no doubt in his mind that Siegelman accepted a bribe.
Scrushy, who was convicted of bribing Siegelman, completed his prison sentence last week.
During testimony, character witnesses spoke on Siegelman's behalf. The witnesses included a lawyer from Arizona, Grant Woods, and Sephira Shuttlesworth, the widow of Fred Shuttlesworth.
Sephira Shuttlesworth spoke about how Siegelman visited her husband often and said if her husband was still alive, he would be there in the courtroom. Mrs. Shuttlesworth asked the judge for mercy and said she believed Siegelman's life could be better used in community service rather than imprisonment.
The court took a break for lunch and is expected to resume at 1:30 p.m. Two more witnesses are expected to be called. It is not clear whether or not Siegelman will take the stand.
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