Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cause for Dismissal of Juror Revealed; Man Had Claimed 'Holy Spirit' Told Him Brown Was Innocent

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cause for Dismissal of Juror Revealed; Man Had Claimed 'Holy Spirit' Told Him Brown Was Innocent

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Patterson

A juror dismissed from former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown's fraud trial told other jurors "the Holy Spirit" said Brown was innocent as the jury deliberated, according to a transcript the trial judge unsealed after a hearing Monday.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan's decision to remove that juror will evidently become part of Brown's effort to challenge her conviction last week on 18 out of 22 fraud and tax charges that could lead to years of imprisonment.

Although he hadn't requested one Monday, Brown's attorney, James W. Smith III, told reporters last week he planned to seek a new trial.

Corrigan acknowledged disagreement over the juror's dismissal during a hearing that touched on a range of subjects involving the now-discharged jury.

"It is obviously a matter of contention in this case as to whether the court acted correctly," Corrigan said.

"I thought it was the right decision, but I know you have rights and I want you to be able to take advantage of those," the judge told Smith before denying a pair of oral motions that would have raised the possibility of attorneys talking with some jurors about their verdict.

Court rules largely restrict attorney contact with jurors, but Corrigan said Smith could still file written motions that lay out in detail his argument for varying from that.

Smith told reporters outside the federal courthouse that the judge is "striving like he always does to be very fair and to balance a lot of competing interests."

One juror emailed Smith over the weekend, and another texted an assistant to Corrigan on Monday, each suggesting they had information to share.

Dismissing the juror who believed in Brown's innocence seems to have been significant for jury deliberations.

The panel had talked about a day and a half with no verdict before another member reported qualms about comments by the juror, who Corrigan questioned with attorneys for both sides present. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.