Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown spoke publicly on Monday for the first time since a jury found her guilty on 18 of 22 counts last week.
“I understand, a lot of questions, a lot of questions, here we go. Two things –“ said Brown’s attorney James Smith as soon as he walked out of the courthouse.
“No, first of all, I want to say hi!” interrupted Brown.
Brown appeared energetic and positive, a stark contrast to her drained demeanor as she left the courthouse on Thursday.
Brown spoke to the media after a hearing where the judge presiding over her case decided to unseal the transcript of the closed court session that led up to a juror's dismissal in the middle of deliberations last week.
During that session, Juror 13 was asked, “Did you say the words, ‘A higher being told me that Corrine Brown was not guilty on all charges?’”
“No, I said the Holy Spirit told me that,” replied Juror 13. “I mentioned it in the very beginning when we were on the first charge.”
The judge dismissed Juror 13 later that morning and swapped him out with an alternate juror, forcing deliberations to start from scratch.
Smith said that juror was dismissed improperly.
Action News Jax asked Smith if he would still feel the same way if the juror said the Holy Spirit told him that Brown was guilty.
“Well, and that’s a good question. And I can understand that question being posed to me. I think the real question is this: If he had said that, however in addition, said, ‘Based upon what I saw in court and the evidence, I came to that conclusion,’ I’d have no basis for making an argument to the contrary,” Smith said.
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Action News Jax asked Brown what life has been like since her convictions.
“Everything is normal, as normal as it can be. These last 15 months has been very difficult. I don’t know what part you don’t understand. It’s been a very difficult time in my life. And I’m looking forward, as my pastor says, to the next phase of my life. This is not the end,” Brown said.
During Monday’s hearing, the judge also revealed that over the weekend, a juror emailed Brown’s attorney saying she had something that could help with his appeal.
Smith plans to file a motion for permission to speak with that juror.
We also learned that a different juror texted a courthouse deputy, saying, “I just heard on the news about juror voting not guilty on all charges because of Holy Spirit telling him so. I don’t know if it matters, but that is not true in the partial vote we had taken prior to removal.”
Brown’s attorney pointed out it’s not clear whether the “not true” part, according to this juror, was Juror 13 voting not guilty on all charges, or that the Holy Spirit told him that Brown was innocent.
Full coverage of the trial:
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