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Court rules former Gov. Bob McDonnell can be free during appeal process

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Posted at 2:48 PM, Jan 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-26 14:50:13-05

Richmond, Va. – The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled that former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will not have to report to prison during the appeal of his corruption convictions.

McDonnell was scheduled to report to prison by February 9.

Earlier in January, U.S. District Judge James Spencer denied a bond appeal made by McDonnell’s lawyers to remain free during the appeal process.

That motion for release was granted on Monday.

“Upon consideration of the submissions relative to appellant’s motion for release pending appeal pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b), the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that appellant is not likely to flee or pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community if released. The court further finds that the appeal is not for the purpose of delay and raises a substantial question of law or fact that, “if decided in favor of the accused” is “important enough” to warrant reversal or a new trial. United States v. Steinhorn, 927 F.2d 195, 196 (4th Cir. 1991) (per curiam).”

The court will hear the case on the following expedited schedule:

Opening Brief and Joint Appendix: Due March 2, 2015

Response Brief: Due March 26, 2015

Reply Brief, if any: Due April 8, 2015

Oral Argument will be held on May 12, 2015, in Richmond, Virginia, and is not subject to continuance.