MONTGOMERY, Ala. --- Attorneys for former Governor Don Siegelman have filed a supplemental motion alleging further juror misconduct. The motion asks to supplement the record on the joint Motion for a New Trial filed earlier by attorneys for Siegelman and Scrushy.
The motion says further information regarding alleged juror e-mails was received by counsel for Siegelman on October 10, 2006 with a postmark of October 7, 2006.
The documents received appear to be a copy of an email from Juror B dated June 25, 2006 at 11:31 p.m. from the same G-mail account for Juror B previously identified. The e-mail is allegedly addressed to another juror not previously identified.
"The text of this alleged email reads: proud of u. . .
other 6 kounts
most important. . . .
The email concludes with Juror B's name," according to the motion.
"If authenticated, this document further demonstrates that Juror B made a practice of conducting one-on-one deliberations outside the presence of other jurors. As such, if authenticated, this document further demonstrates that Governor Siegelman was deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial."
In their original New Trial Motion attorneys for the defendants said they were asking for a court order "vacating their convictions and granting them a new trial...because Defendants were denied their Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial before an impartial jury due to jury exposure to extrinsic evidence and jury misconduct."
In an extended interview with wsfa.com, former Governor Don Siegelman says there's no way jurors misunderstood the judge's daily instructions not to communicate with anyone about the case outside the jury room and outside the presence of all 12 jurors.
Asked whether a jury should now routinely be told not to email each other as part of the judge's daily jury instructions, Siegelman says, "I think after this case, I think it will be. Absolutely. And I think either Judge Fuller will establish that baseline of behavior or I think the 11th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court are probably chomping at the bit to get this issue, because this is an important issue in this day of modern communication."
Siegelman says he does not feel it is necessary to sequester the jury in similar cases:
Attorneys for Siegelman have also expressed concern that evidence needed for an inquiry may get destroyed prior to any such inquiry, should the judge decide to conduct one.
In their Emergency Motion for Order to Require Preservation of Evidence, attorneys for Siegelman said, "Governor Siegelman has a legitimate concern that the companies providing Internet, email, cell phone, and/or text messaging services to Jurors B and C ...may, during the ordinary course of business, destroy information critical to the Defendants' prior joint motion..."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Feaga previously told wsfa.com that he was confident there was "no error committed during the trial that would entitle them to a new trial or any other appellate relief." Government attorneys had not had a chance to review the motion when their office was contacted shortly after this morning's filing, but later in the day said they will file their response in motions on Friday. Siegelman attorney David McDonald had nothing further he wished to say on the issue at this time.