Corrine Brown attorney says jury was 'deadlocked' until juror was removed

An email from Corrine Brown's attorney James Smith, circulated to federal criminal defense lawyers throughout Florida, raises questions about the foundation for the dismissal of a juror in the case.

JACKSONVILLE - This story was updated May 14 at 9:50 am.

An email from Corrine Brown's attorney James Smith, circulated to federal criminal defense lawyers throughout Florida, raises questions about the foundation for the dismissal of a juror in the case. 

The email says that the jury was "deadlocked" until the juror was dismissed, but that after U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan replaced the juror Wednesday, a verdict was reached within eight hours. 

The email also challenges prior media reports that the juror's comments dealt with "higher beings."

"Despite what you may have heard in the news reports he did not make any references to 'higher beings,'"  Smith wrote. "He said that prior to the trial God had told him that the Congresswoman was not guilty and that after listening to the evidence and hearing closing arguments he still believed that she was not guilty."

Smith said that, "despite the fact that there was no evidence that the juror was interfering with deliberations and stated that he was ultimately basing his vote on the evidence and the instructions, the judge decided to kick him off."

He called the juror's removal "a sad example of how important one vote can be." 

An order issued Thursday by U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan forbids media from contacting the dismissed juror.

First Coast News is seeking to unseal the transcript from the closed hearing.

Smith expressed disappointment that his email was 'leaked.'

"The email that I send out was sent to what is supposed to be a closed and confidential group for criminal defense attorneys to share ideas, get support and brainstorm," he wrote to First Coast News. "Someone in the group decided to violate our rules and privacy by leaking this email to the press. I'm disappointed that this happened."

The full text of Smith's email follows:

At the end of deliberations on Tuesday the jury was deadlocked.  One juror stated that he was going to vote for not guilty on all counts.

He said that prior to the trial God had told him that the Congresswoman was not guilty and that after listening to the evidence and hearing closing arguments he still believed that she was not guilty.

This upset one of the jurors so much so that she called the judge and asked to speak with him.

The judge conducted a closed hearing to address the issue and came to the determination that the juror was not basing his vote solely on the evidence introduced in court. 

Despite the fact that there was no evidence that the juror was interfering with deliberations and stated that he was ultimately basing his vote on the evidence  and the instructions the judge decided to kick him off.

Also despite what you may have heard in the news reports he did not make any references to "higher beings."

He was replaced by another juror, deliberations started over, and after eight hours the new jury found her guilty on 18th of 22 counts.

Just another sad example of how important one vote can be.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment