A number of national journalists, especially Scott Horton of Harper's, have presented ample evidence that U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller was hardly an impartial arbiter in his handling of the Don Siegelman case.
New evidence, out today, should erase any doubts that Fuller acted corruptly in the trial that saw the former Alabama governor convicted along with former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.
A Justice Department letter dated July 8 shows that communications regarding possible juror misconduct were kept from defense attorneys.
Postal inspectors determined the e-mails between jurors were fakes, and that information was presented to Fuller and prosecutors. The information was withheld from defense attorneys. Inspectors were not able to determine where the e-mails originated.
Fuller twice ruled that jurors were not improperly influenced by outside information and denied defense motions for new trials.
"The obvious question is whether the judge's rulings were influenced by information he had that wasn't available to defense counsel," said U.S. Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL).
Folks who regularly read The Birmingham News probably will not be surprised by the difference in the paper's coverage compared to that of Associated Press reporter Ben Evans.
The AP report mentions right up front that the story involves possible improper behavior by prosecutors in judge. In the News' story by Mary Orndorff we do not learn that the story has anything to do with Fuller until the eighth paragraph.