By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Today, U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller sentenced former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman to 78 months in Federal prison.
Fuller handed down the sentence –10 months less than what he originally gave Siegelman–after hearing emotional statements by Siegelman in Montgomery federal court.
Siegelman’s lawyers had asked for time served plus community service or probation. But federal prosecutors fought to see that the former governor receive the full 88 months.
Character witnesses for Siegelman one by one took the stand to describe his many good deeds and pled with the court for mercy on his behalf.
“He’s put himself on the line for people again and again. I don’t see the value in him wasting away in a jail cell somewhere,” said Sephira Shuttlesworth, the widow of the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.
But in the end, the judge decided that harsh punishment was to be Siegelman’s fate.
For his part Siegelman acknowledge the shame he had brought on the state and the people of Alabama saying, “I do have deep regrets and remorse for my actions.”
He also apologized to the judge, his family and the people of Alabama.
Some expressed that they believe Fuller had delievered a death sentence to the former governor.
Siegelman is to report to federal prison on September, 11, 2012.