Court back in session, Siegelman awaits resentencing - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Court back in session, Siegelman awaits resentencing

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MONTGOMERY - AL -

Court is back in session in Montgomery, Friday, for the resentencing hearing of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.

Before court adjourned for lunch, Siegelman's defense team called four witnesses to the stand, including the late Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth's widow, Sephira Shuttlesworth, who asked the court to have mercy on Siegelman and said sending him back to prison will benefit no one.

The other three witnesses echoed those statements, saying Siegelman has suffered enough and has learned his lesson. They also called Siegelman a man of integrity and great character.

Siegelman is being resentenced for taking bribes from former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy, in exchange for a position on a hospital regulatory board. He served nine months in prison out of an original 88 month sentence.

Siegelman's daughter, Dana, was the first witness to take the stand following the lunch break. She says it doesn't matter whether her father is guilty, because her father is still a good man.

Judge Mark Fuller said Friday morning in court that there's no doubt this case was about bribery. He also told Siegelman's attorney, Susan James, that this "is not a close call," when it comes to the boundaries and differences of taking bribes and accepting campaign contributions.

Furthermore, Judge Fuller stated he does not believe Siegelman has taken responsibility of his actions.

Siegelman's sentence is expected to be given out Friday afternoon. It's unclear if Siegelman, himself, will take the stand on his behalf.