Ex-congresswoman seeks new trial after fraud conviction

Disgraced former congresswoman Corrine Brown was in federal court in Jacksonville again, today. Her lawyer argued that her conviction was tainted and the judge should either acquit her or hold a new trial.

As usual, she was surrounded by supporters, this time including Rev. Jesse Jackson.  Brown let her lawyer, James Smith, do the talking.

“Let me just say this, regardless of whether you're a supporter of Congresswoman Brown or not, I think everyone should agree that she have a fair trial,” Smith said.  “We're hoping the judge does grant the motion - obviously for judgment of acquittal, but if he does not, we certainly hope he'll grant the motion for a new trial.”

The judge didn't issue a ruling today, saying he'd need time to consider the arguments. In May, Brown was convicted on eighteen charges of fraud stemming from a sham charity prosecutors say she set up, then stole thousands of dollars from.

During her trial, though, a juror was dismissed after saying god was telling him Brown was not guilty. Smith said that violated Brown's rights.

“If we prevail in this motion,” Smith said, “every other person who's tried in court will owe her a great debt because she stood up for fairness and justice.”

Rev. Jesse Jackson says he's standing by Brown, despite her conviction.

“With so much hostility and division in the air, we seek to move from battleground to common ground. Corrine has been a big force for good and I respect her very much. That's why I'm here to stand with her,” he said.

The judge couldn't say when his ruling might come down - only that would be as soon as possible. If he doesn't overturn the conviction or call a new trial, Brown faces the possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison.