JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Two months ago, a federal jury convicted former Congresswoman Corrine Brown on 18 charges of public corruption.
In just over two weeks, Brown will have another day in court as she argues for an acquittal and a new trial.
"It is unfortunate that I have to go through this," Brown said in an exclusive interview with First Coast News, "but that's life."
Brown was convicted on 18 felony counts including fraud, tax evasion and public corruption for her connection to the unregistered charity One Door for Education.
Federal prosecutors described it as a slush fund for the congresswoman.
"You all over and over said it was my charity," said Brown, "I work with over a hundred charities. I am not on any board, I had nothing to do with this charity."
Brown said she is preparing for her appeal and raising money for her defense.
She is critical of the jury's behavior after one of them refused to vote for her conviction.
"It was deadlock until they threw off Juror 13 period," Brown said. "I am 100 percent innocent."
Attorney Sam Walker, an appellate specialist, has joined her attorney, James Smith, for the August hearing.
"In the courtroom it was David versus Goliath," Brown told First Coast News.
Never a loss for words, she said she was the target of federal prosecutors because 'she is outspoken, she is black and she has a backbone.' "The attack that goes on with black officials in this community and in this state is unacceptable," she said.
She is optimistic about her appeal. She said she's pleased with how things are turning around, but she believes the criminal justice system has to be changed.
"What I've learned is that there is too much of an imbalance in the system," Brown said, "I guess I am going this for a reason."
Brown said at this stage of her legal battle, failure is not an option.
"I have devoted 34 years of my life to serving this community and on my tombstone, it will not say felon, I mean that," she said.
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