Obama denies pardon request for former Alabama governor

Don Siegelman (CBSN)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — President Barack Obama will not pardon former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

The Department of Justice informed Siegelman’s attorneys Thursday that his clemency petition had been denied.

Siegelman’s supporters had long hoped the president would free the former Alabama governor before leaving office.

The 70-year-old Democrat is serving a 6½ year sentence for bribery and obstruction of justice in a federal prison in Louisiana.

Siegelman has a listed release date of Aug. 8, but could be released sooner to house arrest. The former governor told supporters in November that his earliest possible release date is Feb. 8.

Siegelman was convicted of selling an appointment to a state health board in exchange for donations to his 1999 lottery campaign.

Appellate courts upheld the conviction. Siegelman has maintained he is innocent.

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