The original winner of Survivor will still be in prison when the show’s 16th season debuts Thursday, as Richard Hatch’s appeal to the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was denied on Friday.
Hatch and his attorney appealed his conviction, saying he wasn’t allowed to present evidence that CBS promised to pay his taxes once he discovered other cast members cheating. “The failure of Hatch to present any evidence of such conversations when invited by the court strongly suggested that no actual promises were made, and no such ‘deal’ actually existed. It was not the court’s right, much less duty, to put words in Hatch’s mouth,” the appellate judges said in their decision.
Besides Hatch’s failure to mention it, “Burnett was never asked about the purported quid pro quo when he took the stand. The appeals court said [Hatch's attorney Michael] Minns presented no other evidence to support Hatch’s claim of a deal,” the AP reports.
Hatch’s attorney said they may appeal to the Supreme Court. “He is scheduled to be released in October 2009,” according to the AP.