Don Siegelman discusses his post-prison plans

Don Siegelman discusses his post-prison plans

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman must get permission to travel, can't own a gun, and isn't able to vote currently - but he has big plans.

"It would mean something for me for the public to know the truth," Siegelman said Thursday.

Marking his eighth day of freedom, no longer on house arrest after a six year federal prison sentence for his corruption conviction, Siegelman outlined three priorities.

1. Publish a book on his experiences. "A non-fiction thriller," he called it.

2. Become a voice for criminal justice reform. "I've seen the flaws," he said.

3. Follow through on his final legal battle connected to the investigation and prosecution that has dogged him since 1999. "Vengeful, political," he described it.

That final legal battle is a lawsuit filed by his son, attorney Joseph Siegelman, seeking the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility investigation of his prosecution.

Siegelman still maintains he did nothing wrong. He can even hear how detractors will respond.

"There he goes again. He can't admit fault," he laughed.

How does he respond?

"I don't talk to them," he answered. "There's no point in trying to change someone's mind when he will not change. I'm not concerned with that."

What he is interested in is getting people to see a documentary about his case, though he said, "It's not about me. It's about our democracy and rights."

Atticus v. The Architect: The Political Assassination of Don Siegelman, which will screen Friday, August 18 at 7p.m. at Decatur's Princess Theatre, contends Karl Rove, the "architect" of President George W. Bush's Administration, conspired with Republican prosecutors and operatives in Alabama to target Siegelman, the last Democrat elected governor in 1998. He narrowly lost reelection in 2002.

Siegelman was convicted of bribery and obstruction of justice concerning claims he reappointed HealthSouth co-founder Richard Scrushy to a regulatory board in exchange for Scrushy contributing to the campaign for Siegelman's proposed state lottery.

Siegelman recalled the moment he was convicted.

"I said a quiet prayer," he said.

After a long pause, he continued, "As Attorney General I set execution dates for inmates."

He said his experience as prosecutor, governor, then federal inmate gave him a unique perspective to help make changes in the criminal justice system.

He now lives in Birmingham with his wife and dog. He said he values the time he spends with his wife, son, and daughter greatly since coming home from prison.

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