Did Ex-Alabama Governor Get A Raw Deal?

60 Minutes Reports On Bribery Conviction Of Don Siegelman In A Case Criticized by Democrats And Republicans

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But Grant Woods, the former attorney general of Arizona, says the case should never have gone to trial. "The prosecutor's gotta look at it and say, 'Hey, is this the sort of thing that we're really talking about when we're talking about bribery?' Because what the public needs to know here is there is no allegation that Don Siegelman ever put one penny in his pocket," he says.

Richard Scrushy did make donations totaling $500,000 to that education lottery campaign, and after serving on the hospital board under three previous governors, Scrushy was re-appointed by Siegelman.

But Woods says that's politics, not bribery. "You do a bribery when someone has a real personal benefit. Not, 'Hey, I would like for you to help out on this project which I think is good for my state.' If you're going to start indicting people and putting them in prison for that, then you might as well just build nine or ten new federal prisons because that happens everyday in every statehouse, in every city council, and in the Congress of the United States," he says.

"What you seem to be saying here is that this is analogous to giving a great deal of money to a presidential campaign. And as a result, you become ambassador to Paris," Pelley remarks.

"Exactly. That's exactly right," Woods says.

Siegelman was campaigning in the 2006 Democratic primary as he went to trial. "We're going to turn this bus into what we call the night shift, because after the trial every day we're gonna be hittin the trail every day," he said.

But he lost in the primary. After two months, the jury deadlocked twice, then, voted to convict on its third deliberation. Many legal minds were shocked when federal judge Mark Fuller, at sentencing, sent Siegelman directly to prison without allowing the usual 45 days before reporting.

"He had him manacled around his legs like we do with crazed killers. And whisked off to prison just like that. Now what does that tell you? That tells you that this was personal. You would not do that to a former governor," Woods says.

"Would you do that to any white collar criminal?" Pelley asks.

"No, I haven't seen it done," Woods says.

"Help me understand something. You're blaming the Republican administration for this prosecution. You're saying it was a political prosecution. You are a Republican. How do I reconcile that?" Pelley asks.

"We're Americans first. And you got to call it as you see it. And you got to stand up for what's right in this country," Woods says.



Karl Rove and others at the White House were subpoenaed to testify before Congress but they refused to appear. And the Justice Department has refused to turn over hundreds of documents in the case.

Don Siegelman has six years and eight months to go on his sentence.