Prosecutors fight to uphold Scrushy bribery conviction

Federal prosecutors are battling to uphold the convictions of HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy--and former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman--on bribery, conspiracy and mail fraud charges in appeals court. The defense is arguing that the convictions should be overturned because the jury was tainted, citing e-mails allegedly sent by jurors who discussed the case and pressured another juror for a guilty verdict.

Federal prosecutors, meanwhile, contend that if they did the in-depth examination required to determine the authenticity of the e-mails, which would include a search of juror hard drives and BlackBerries, it would verge on juror harassment and could impact their ability to empanel future juries. (That being said, U.S. postal inspectors previously investigated who sent the e-mails, and concluded that they were fakes.)

Scrushy and Siegelman were convicted on charges that the former HealthSouth CEO bought a seat on the state's Certificate of Need Review Board by donating $500,000 to Siegelman's lottery campaign. While Siegelman is free on an appeal bond, Scrushy has been in prison for more than a year.

To learn more about the appeal:
- read this article from The Birmingham News

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