Paul Minor appeal could get boost from Supreme Court ruling - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Paul Minor appeal could get boost from Supreme Court ruling

WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) - The attorney for former Biloxi lawyer Paul Minor says there's good news for his client in a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday to limit a law that's been used to prosecute bribery and other "white collar" cases.

In the ruling, the Supreme Court sided with former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling in limiting the use of the "honest services" law. The justices said the law could not be used in convicting Skilling for his role in the collapse of

Enron. But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in her majority opinion that the ruling does not necessarily require Skilling's conviction to be overturned.

The "honest services" law has been a favorite of federal prosecutors in "white collar" cases, like Minor's 2007 judicial bribery case. Minor's attorney, Theodore Olson released a statement today praising the decision in the Skilling case. Olson wrote the decisions "reflect the Court's well-founded concerns about the vague and overbroad language of the honest services statute. I am pleased that the Court took this opportunity to narrow the scope of the virtually limitless statutory language."

Minor's conviction is on appeal to the Supreme Court.

"Mr. Minor's case will afford the Court another opportunity to impose meaningful limits on the honest services statute and to ensure that the statute is not used to punish political speech fully protected by the First Amendment," Olson said.

Minor isn't the only high profile case looking at the Skilling ruling as a second chance. Attorneys for former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman say the ruling could lead courts to throw out at least some of the charges against Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.

Siegelman and Scrushy were convicted in 2006 of bribery and other charges in a federal government corruption case. Siegelman attorney Vince Kilborn said the "honest services" law was used in their prosecution. He said the ruling might encourage the court to look favorably on their appeals.

The court is expected to decide on Monday whether it will hear Siegelman and Scrushy's the appeals.

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