In a searing political memoir, former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman explodes the myth of an impartial U.S. justice system. He should know. Arguably the most successful and promising politician in modern Alabama history, his three-decade career in public service ran afoul of Republican opponents who used the federal judicial system to take him out of contention in Alabama and nationally. Siegelman ultimately was sentenced to 88 months in federal prison and served five years, with long stretches in solitary confinement during which he was a literal political prisoner, cut off from interviews and outside contact. Stealing Our Democracy reveals how Siegelman’s enemies — including politicized prosecutors and a corrupt judge — stripped him of his freedom, his career, and his law license, and deprived him of his family and friends. His is an intensely personal account of how our system can fail and be abused for political greed. And if it could happen to him, he writes, it can happen to any of us, particularly in an era when Donald Trump is abusing his power and using the Department of Justice as a political weapon to defend himself and to destroy those who oppose him. Siegelman draws on his experience as a public servant and an inmate to show why the nation’s prisons must be reformed along with our system of indictment, prosecution, and sentencing. Finally, Stealing Our Democracy offers a blueprint for voters in 2020 of what must be done to preserve democracy.
Stealing Our Democracy
is every bit as compelling as Kafka's The Trial.
The governor's book reveals how the Department of Justice, used as a political weapon, is threatening America's democracy. Siegelman's story is astonishing, compelling, and infuriating.
—Thom Hartmann, America's #1 Progressive Talk Show Host, New York Times bestselling author
Don Siegelman was the most successful Democratic politician in post-Wallace Alabama. His new book tells an amazing odyssey involving two federal prosecutions and a conviction forced by a corrupt judge. Following explosive disclosures of political manipulation by Republican whistleblowers, the constant that links many strands of the governor's political assassination is Karl Rove.
—Scott Horton, contributing editor, Harper's Magazine
Of the thousands of prosecutorial misconduct cases I have lectured on and written about, the government's bad faith described in Stealing Our Democracy
stands out starkly and may be without parallel. The book is a continuum of misconduct which leaves the reader shaking in disbelief. The injustice described in Licensed to Lie pales in comparison to the corruption of justice, misconduct, and bad faith revealed in Stealing Our Democracy
—Bennett L. Gershman, Pace University School of Law, author of Prosecutorial Misconduct, Trial Error and Misconduct, and Prosecution Stories
Stealing Our Democracy
shows the abuse of political power by Republicans began well before Donald Trump. As a popular Democratic Governor of Alabama, Don Siegelman posed a potent threat to the GOP’s Southern Strategy because Siegelman was a man the Republicans couldn’t defeat in an honest election. Karl Rove’s fingerprints are everywhere on the sleazy machinations that transformed a rising star in the Democratic Party—seemingly destined for the national stage—into a political prisoner whose biggest crime was winning elections in a red state.
—Craig Unger, investigative journalist, author of Boss Rove and House of Trump, House of Putin
Reading Stealing Our Democracy
will make you cry — and then cry out for integrity in our justice system. Governor Siegelman was a victim of blatant abuse of power and the greed for power by rogue Republicans with ties to Karl Rove and the Bush White House. This book is a call to action.
—Andrew Kreig, author, attorney, and director of the Justice Integrity Project
Don Siegelman's story is nothing less than an American tragedy. Stealing Our Democracy
should remind us all of what can happen when federal prosecutors' powers are used to target not conduct but people, when the criminal sanction becomes a substitute for the ballot box, and when ambiguities in the law are exploited to damage a reputation and destroy a life. Siegelman's description of the Kafkaesque nightmare that enveloped him and his family should cause both heartbreak and outrage. Understanding the abuses he experienced may well be the first step to ending them and to healing our broken politics.
—John J. Farmer Jr., former New Jersey Attorney General, former dean of Rutgers Law School, currently law professor and director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers
Every law enforcement professional should be alarmed by the political assassination of Governor Don Siegelman told in this story. And every American who believes in democracy should read his book.
—Peter D. Bullard, PhD, law enforcement consultant, police academy instructor
If you doubt that politics are the mortal enemy of justice, read Stealing Our Democracy
. Terrible things happen when prosecutors forget that they are duty-bound to prosecute cases based solely on evidence and the law. Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman’s book is a sobering reminder of the vast powers the federal government has wrongfully used as a sledgehammer to achieve a conviction at any cost.
—David C. Iglesias, United States Attorney, District of New Mexico
Don Siegelman stared the devil in the eye and survived. Relentlessly pursued by Karl Rove and his operatives, the former Democratic governor of Alabama paid a steep price but demonstrated a strength of character that makes the malevolent forces look weak. Now, in his own words, Siegelman tells how the saga unfolded, leading him through trials and disappointments and finally to prison. Stealing Our Democracy
is a must-read for anyone who cares about our democracy.
—Josephine E. Ayers, chairman and publisher, The Anniston Star
Impassioned legal brief, indictment of systematic criminal justice flaws, and touching family saga.
A simply riveting read from cover to cover ... an extraordinary story with profound implications.
—Midwest Book Review
A complicated narrative ... entirely convincing.
—Don Noble, Alabama Public Radio
Stealing Our Democracy
is both the harrowing story of one man's nightmarish journey through a broken system and a timely call to action.
—National Trial Lawyers Magazine