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Appeals court: Ex-US Rep Brown should get new trial

Corrine Brown
Posted at 10:31 PM, May 06, 2021

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A federal appeals court has ordered a new trial for former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, a once-powerful Florida Democrat.

She served just over two years of a five-year sentence for fraud and other crimes related to a purported charity for poor students that prosecutors said she used as a personal slush fund.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday the judge in Brown's case violated her Sixth Amendment right to a unanimous jury verdict.

According to the Associated Press, the original judge on the case "abused his discretion by removing a juror who expressed after deliberations had begun that the Holy Spirit told him that Brown was not guilty on all charges."

The court of appeals voted 7-4 to vacate Brown's 2017 convictions and sentence.

Brown represented a Florida district that included Jacksonville during her nearly 25-year career.

Prosecutors said Brown siphoned money from the One Door for Education Foundation for personal use.

According to The AP, the foundation brought in $800,000 between 2012 and 2016.

But they only gave out one scholarship, for $1,200, to an unidentified person in Florida.