Sounds like the name of a band, don’t it? And in a way one might suggest they are, because it does seem that they are giving one helluva concert… so to speak.
Mike Hubbard, the former Alabama Speaker of the House was convicted on 12 felony counts last week. Each of the class B felonies carries a sentence of two to 12 years. When I first heard he had been convicted, the media suggested he could be facing “decades” behind bars. I figured good riddance and calculated what I thought might be a good sentence for the good ole boy. If he got the maximum of 20 years on each count, served consecutively, Mr. Hubbard would go to jail for 240 years – essentially a life sentence.
Of course, I figured that wouldn’t happen. I figured that the defense would advise concurrent sentencing, and that of the 12 counts there were probably groups of three or four that were somewhat related, and that could plausibly be grouped together in concurrent sentencing. But, that would leave three of four groups to be served consecutively which would then amount to a maximum of 60 – 80 years. It is Alabama, after all, and so I thought the judge would then go easy on the deadbeat thug and give him a half sentence. No way, I thought, would he get less than 30 – 40 years behind bars. And he would be lucky at that.
This week Bill Baxley, Mike Hubbards attorney, called the prosecutions suggested sentence of five years behind bars, 13 more on probation, plus fines and restitution “absurd.” Well, he got that right. Five years behind bars for 12 felony counts would be absolutely ridiculous. If the judge did impose that sentence, it wouldn’t even amount to the two years minimum for each violation.
But, what is even more absurd than Bill Baxley’s comments is the fact that the prosecutors in the case would suggest such a light sentence. The message is clear. In Alabama, if you are a white collar criminal and get caught, all you have to do is pay back some of the money, and if you do go to jail, it won’t be too late when you get out to carry on with your thieving way of life. It don’t matter, after all, whose side your own, the good ole boys stick together.
Hopefully the judge in this case, Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker, will recuse himself from the good ole boys club prior to sentencing, scheduled for July 8, and serve justice in a manner which is equitable, fair and just, and that reflects the justice other Alabamians must face when they don’t happen to have the deep pockets and political status of someone who could far more easily handle similar sentencing for the crime committed. I’d say 40 years, no more than half on probation, plus the fines and restitution.
© 2016 – Jim Casey
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