JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers on Monday filed an amicus brief in support of former congresswoman Corrine Brown's appeal of her conviction on 18 federal counts of fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy.
The statewide organization, representing 1,500 members who practice criminal defense, argue in the 22-page court document that juror No. 13 should not have been dismissed.
To remedy the juror's dismissal, Brown's conviction and sentence should be reversed and she should be given a new trial, according to the amicus brief.
Both Brown's lawyers and federal prosecutors agreed to let Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers file the brief.
Brown, 71, began her five-year sentence Jan. 29 at a minimum-security prison camp that is part of the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Central Florida.
The initial appeal brief filed last month by Brown's attorneys addressed the issue of juror No. 13, who was removed during deliberations after telling others that he had prayed and believed the Holy Spirit had told him Brown was not guilty.
The filing spanned more than 60 pages, containing 16,352 words. The rules of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit state that an initial appeal brief can be no more than 13,000 words.
A federal appeals judge in Atlanta initially ruled the congresswoman's first appeal was too long, surpassing the 13,000-word limit, and then gave Brown two weeks to file a new motion.
The revised appeal, which Brown's attorneys filed last week, is about 12,925 words, significantly reduced from the original 16,352.