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Federal appeals panel backs McDougal conviction

A federal appeals panel affirmed Susan McDougal's Whitewater conviction while giving former Gov. Jim Guy Tucker another chance to prove his conviction was tainted by a biased juror.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis concluded Monday that a lower court properly allowed testimony from McDougal's ex-husband, James, and that she did not suffer because her co-defendants - McDougal and Tucker - were politically connected.In the same ruling, the appeals panel ordered a new hearing on whether a juror was biased against Tucker, who was found guilty in the same 1996 trial, because the former governor had twice denied clemency to the juror's husband after a drug conviction.

Tucker, McDougal and Mrs. McDougal were convicted in 1996 for fraudulent transactions at a failed Arkansas land development.