Walker can try for last appeal

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Former state Sen. Charles Walker has until Friday to make a final plea to the U.S. Supreme Court to consider his case.

Charles Walker was convicted in 2005 for mail fraud, tax crimes and conspiracy.  File/Staff
File/Staff
Charles Walker was convicted in 2005 for mail fraud, tax crimes and conspiracy.

Mr. Walker, the highest-ranking Georgia politician ever prosecuted and sentenced to prison, lost his appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and in March the Supreme Court rejected Mr. Walker's petition to hear his case.

The last step of his direct appeal is asking the Supreme Court to reconsider.

If Mr. Walker chooses not to ask for reconsideration or the court declines, he will have to pay nearly $700,000 in restitution to the victims of his crimes.

When U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. sentenced Mr. Walker to 121 months in prison in November 2005, he allowed Mr. Walker to delay paying restitution until his appeal was completed.

Judge Bowen agreed with Mr. Walker's defense team that if he was successful on appeal, it would be difficult if not impossible to get the money back.

Mr. Walker has paid $279,000 in fines and assessments for the 127 counts of mail fraud, conspiracy and tax crimes, but Judge Bowen allowed him to pledge 35 securities in lieu of restitution.

U.S. District Attorney Edmund A. Booth Jr. said last week that the judge's order requires Mr. Walker to pay restitution immediately after his appeal is completed or the securities will be surrendered.

The case doesn't end there, however. In 2005, Judge Bowen said he wanted to know a lot more about one of the victims, the CSRA Classic, before turning over more than $400,000 to the charity organization Mr. Walker co-founded more than a decade ago.

Then, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richards Goolsby suggested the restitution for the CSRA Classic should be turned over to Paine College and Augusta State University for their scholarship programs.

"The money ought to go to the kids," Mr. Goolsby said.

Defense attorney Don Samuels countered that restitution couldn't be given to someone who isn't a victim.

The CSRA Classic was about a lot more than just scholarships, Mr. Samuels said. It included a youth leadership program, and the major fundraising event of the year -- a football game between historically black colleges at Lucy C. Laney Comprehensive High School -- is a tradition that brings a community together, Mr. Samuels said.

But Judge Bowen said he wasn't inclined to give the money back to an organization whose scholarships went mostly to the children of influential members of the community.

During Mr. Walker's trial in May 2005, the prosecution presented evidence that showed the student awarded the largest scholarship is the son of former Richmond County school Superintendent Charles Larke.

Testimony also revealed that Mr. Walker helped himself to cash collected at the CSRA Classic event.

The jury also convicted Mr. Walker of crimes related to defrauding advertisers in his newspaper by grossly exaggerating circulation numbers.

The jury also believed Mr. Walker used his political influence and hid his ownership of a temp service business to gain contracts with two public hospitals, and that he funneled campaign funds through the Augusta Focus newspaper and into his own pocket.

Mr. Walker, 60, is housed at the federal prison in Estill, S.C. According to the federal Bureau of Prisons, his release date is Sept. 26, 2014.

Mr. Walker, born in Burke County to a sharecropper's son, spent 20 years in the state House and Senate and rose to the political height of Senate majority leader.

By 1999, his holding company, The Walker Group, grossed more than $20 million and employed 1,200 people.

After Mr. Walker temporarily lost his Senate seat in 2002, federal agents began to focus on his various business dealings. He was indicted in June 2004. While under indictment, he was re-elected to the Senate.

Less than an hour after his conviction in Augusta's federal courthouse, Gov. Sonny Perdue stripped Mr. Walker of his seat.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

MORE REPRESENTATION

A half-dozen attorneys, some of the top criminal defense lawyers in Georgia, have represented Charles W. Walker since his 2004 indictment. The latest addition is Alan M. Dershowitz, a Harvard Law School professor and prolific writer of books and articles for magazines and newspapers. He is frequently interviewed by national media groups as an expert on criminal law and civil liberties.


If the U.S. Supreme Court further rejects Mr. Walker's plea to hear his appeal, the only appellate option left is a federal habeas petition, a lower-level appeals process challenging the legality of his incarceration.

Comments (81) Add comment
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patriciathomas
44
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patriciathomas 04/06/08 - 02:44 am
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Mr Walker has the financial

Mr Walker has the financial where with all to appeal as long as there are appeals available. I look for him to spend every penny he can to try to stop from returning some of his ill gotten gains.

pablanco
1
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pablanco 04/06/08 - 03:23 am
0
0
go get em champ.

go get em champ.

crackerjack
304
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crackerjack 04/06/08 - 05:02 am
0
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Never

Never Forget.................Don't Drop The Soap!

maebe
0
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maebe 04/06/08 - 05:24 am
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I pray Mr. Walker is released

I pray Mr. Walker is released soon and returns to his former glory. He did nothing different than the good ol' boys. His skin hue was his down fall. Don't bother trying to change my opinion. I am not from Augusta or Burke county, but I was there when all this went down. I was a back door vote recruiter; am familiar with Good Ol' Boy politics and know he will arise triumphant. Absolute Politics is inherently corrupt anyway.

pablanco
1
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pablanco 04/06/08 - 05:41 am
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hah the race cards are

hah the race cards are awfully tattered and worn thin.

sliique
1
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sliique 04/06/08 - 05:42 am
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I STILL would be ecstatic if

I STILL would be ecstatic if I could spemd OME evening with Mrs. Walker. She is GORGEOUS!

pablanco
1
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pablanco 04/06/08 - 06:01 am
0
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well I doubt mr walker will

well I doubt mr walker will get conjuical visits. Why don't you ask her out?

nonumberplease
0
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nonumberplease 04/06/08 - 06:39 am
0
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Charles walker is connected

Charles walker is connected to the good old boys, dumas.

christian134
2
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christian134 04/06/08 - 06:44 am
0
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He is no different than

He is no different than anyother criminal and I pray he stays put....If you want to flaunt the law then be man enough to take the punishment.

PTHS2
0
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PTHS2 04/06/08 - 06:55 am
0
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I don't understand why the

I don't understand why the urban black community continues to offer words of support for Mr Walker. He was convicted of stealing money that was intended to benefit the urban black community. Do y'all believe that all 117 counts were made up and he is innocent of all wrongdoing? Or are you just too apathetic to care? "Well, everybody does it". I really don't understand.....

WhiskyDick
0
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WhiskyDick 04/06/08 - 07:16 am
0
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I'd like to hear Walker's

I'd like to hear Walker's attorneys explain to Clarence Thomas how he was picked on just because he was black.

WHATDIDIDO
0
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WHATDIDIDO 04/06/08 - 07:32 am
0
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Only in Richmond County will

Only in Richmond County will a bunch of naysayers, have a problem with a person using their rights as a citizen. Crakerjack, the Miltary has a policy of " Don't ask..Don't tell. You might wish to utilize it.

WHATDIDIDO
0
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WHATDIDIDO 04/06/08 - 07:33 am
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No maebe, IMHO he got caught

No maebe, IMHO he got caught with his hands in the cookie jar. Granted he did not do anything that the rest are not doing, he just got caught.

WHATDIDIDO
0
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WHATDIDIDO 04/06/08 - 07:36 am
0
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Why are you so tickled pink

Why are you so tickled pink about Clarence Thomas? I thought he was an Affirmative Action product?

dani
13
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dani 04/06/08 - 08:16 am
0
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He is a product of AA, Hypo,

He is a product of AA, Hypo, but that's not to say he wouldn't have made it on his own. Often we are handed crutches that we don't really need.

justus4
124
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justus4 04/06/08 - 08:20 am
0
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The deck was stacked against
Unpublished

The deck was stacked against Walker from the start. What happened to his great lawyer team? They failed! First, they needed to get a diverse jury. Remember all-white jurys (they are still here), well thats what happened here. The entire judical process in his case was tainted. The prosecutor, now judge, applied cosy terms w/ judge to get the decision they wanted. It's that simple, and why the US Supreme Court will rule in his favor. PEOPLE, 'justice" depends on race, that pure facts. So, extreme care is required in jury selection, because we know the results of all-white jurys. Blacks always lost. Why? Where they guilty? He!! no! Just evil, ignorant, dishonest people playing court. In Walker's case the jury was clearly tainted, facts intentionally scattered and the outcome easily predictable. Again, bad lawyers combined with a tainted jury equals justice denied.

PTHS2
0
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PTHS2 04/06/08 - 08:29 am
0
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justus4 - Are you trying to

justus4 - Are you trying to say you believe him to be innocent of stealing money desginated to help the urban community? I want to be very clear on this so I can understand. All of the evidence was made up? If somebody gives me $100 to help out the local community and I put $50 in my pocket, is that okay? "Well hell, the man gave us a fitty....."

WHATDIDIDO
0
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WHATDIDIDO 04/06/08 - 08:38 am
0
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He was not the first and

He was not the first and won't be the last. That said, the system will work it's course.

willietrunk
0
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willietrunk 04/06/08 - 08:38 am
0
0
I was very sad when I learned

I was very sad when I learned that the Classic was misappropriating the funds; I worked hard to get SSC to play there when others, when looking back, knew what was going on. THE GBI HAD EVIDENCE WHICH SHOWED WHICH KIDS IN AUGUSTA, ALTHOUGH VERY FEW, WERE RECEIVING FUNDS AND THEY WERE NOT NEEDY ALL. SO JUSTUS, COME AGAIN!

willietrunk
0
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willietrunk 04/06/08 - 08:41 am
0
0
Can you explain how in the

Can you explain how in the world Dr. Larke's son received any scholarship money while his dad was making in excess of $175,000 a year in Augusta GA. Justus must be Champ Walker.

PTHS2
0
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PTHS2 04/06/08 - 08:42 am
0
0
Hypo - Both of you guys are

Hypo - Both of you guys are sitting here saying "the man did him in". If you believe he is innocent of stealing charity money, have the balls to come out and say that. The gentleman is getting his "rights" and "days in court". He is a convicted felon until proven otherwise.

I4PUTT
5
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I4PUTT 04/06/08 - 08:43 am
0
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justus4 you make excellent

justus4 you make excellent points...none of them are true, however...do you really believe it took over 20 years to unstack the deck??? Why would opposing races allow him so much success for so long? Why would they not unseat him before he gained any power? Even great lawyer teams sometimes lose up hill battles. This hill included over 120 counts. How do you explain the out pouring of people of many races recently for MLK? If indeed the entire judicial process was tainted, why aren't people marching to over throw this verdict? The truth is he got caught, as many of other races have.

willietrunk
0
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willietrunk 04/06/08 - 08:43 am
0
0
Aman Hypo!

Aman Hypo!

willietrunk
0
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willietrunk 04/06/08 - 08:44 am
0
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I meant PTHS! Amen

I meant PTHS! Amen

christian134
2
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christian134 04/06/08 - 08:44 am
0
0
If this crime had distrubed

If this crime had distrubed your life and your families life I dare say Hypo you would not be speaking "junk". Those who frequently hold up for a criminal simply because of who he or she is or because of the color of their skin will one day find that same racist junk will jump up and bite you hindquarters. Think about it. The only reason people of Walker's race hold up for him is because they know they can and get away with it most times....And that is just the way it is in this nation and has been for decades....

willietrunk
0
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willietrunk 04/06/08 - 08:47 am
0
0
I am ashamed of some of the

I am ashamed of some of the people in our community who still refuses to admit he is guilty. I can not think of anything substantial he did for the poor in Augusta. Why are BLACK Augustans in love with this guy!

WHATDIDIDO
0
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WHATDIDIDO 04/06/08 - 08:48 am
0
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Tell me where I said anything

Tell me where I said anything about " The man did him in".

jack
12
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jack 04/06/08 - 08:49 am
0
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Hypocrap, while in the

Hypocrap, while in the military, you didn't tell?

willietrunk
0
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willietrunk 04/06/08 - 08:49 am
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And HYPOCRITES2008 must be

And HYPOCRITES2008 must be MRS. Walker!

WHATDIDIDO
0
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WHATDIDIDO 04/06/08 - 08:51 am
0
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Willietrunk, first of all, I

Willietrunk, first of all, I do not know anyone other than his family, that is in love with him. Secondly, I am no fan of Charles Walker. If yoy take time to carefully read my 7:33am post, you would see that.

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