JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - News4Jax has obtained an email that may reveal at least two reasons why Corrine Brown's attorney might ask for a new trial.
The same day former Congresswoman Brown was found guilty on 18 counts of federal corruption, a statement was released saying the fight for her innocence was not over.
An email from Brown’s attorney, James Smith, states "at the end of deliberations on Tuesday, the jury was deadlocked" and one juror said he was going to vote not guilty.
That same juror was removed from the trial after another juror complained to Judge Timothy Corrigan's secretary about the one juror who would have voted not guilty, citing "higher beings.”
However, the email News4Jax has just obtained, states, "He (the juror) did not make any references to 'higher beings.'"
Attorney Randy Reep, one of News4Jax's legal analysts for the Brown case, said this could be a strong argument for a new trial.
One reason is procedural. Reep said typically, jurors are not supposed to contact a judge's secretary.
“What you will find in most jury construct is, you want everything that occurs with the court and the jury to happen as a group -- not individually,” Reep said. “There are exceptions.”
Still, a juror contacting the judge's secretary is not the normal procedure.
Reep said another potential issue is that if the dismissed juror didn't say "higher beings" and instead said "God," there's nothing wrong with that.
Reep said once a motion for a new trial is filed, it's possible that Corrigan may be willing to give Brown a new trial.
“It’s an issue of giving the judge an opportunity to have time to reflect and review in a totality of the case, particularly that one pinnacle moment, just right, wrong or indifferent -- did it unfairly jeopardize my right to a fair trial?” Reep said. “And if that's the case, I should be given a new trial.”
Reep said it is rare for any judge to grant a new trial. If that does not happen, Brown's attorney could take the case to appeals court.
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