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Court: Corrine Brown Must Appeal Convictions From Prison

Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown
Ryan Benk
Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that former congresswoman Corrine Brown must appeal her convictions from prison.

Brown's request to remain out on bond as she appeals her 18 federal convictions on charges of mail, wire and tax fraud was denied Monday, according to our News4Jax partner.

So was a motion to delay the start of Brown's five-year prison sentence by 30 days.

Brown is scheduled to report to prison Jan. 29.

Brown had asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to allow her to remain free on bond while she appeals her conviction, and her attorneys filed a motion Monday with the federal court in Jacksonville, requesting a 30-day extension to Brown's prison reporting date while the appeals court considers the bond motion.

Both motions were denied later Monday.

Judge Timothy Corrigan said in his ruling that the court has already fully considered Brown's request for bond and that the Jan. 29 date stands and will not be extended.

Corrine Brown’s attorney, William Kent, also filed a motion Monday to extend the deadline to file the appeal of her conviction another 30 days. The deadline now is Feb. 6.

His motion says he did not represent Brown during any of the trial proceedings, and all of his attention so far has been on the appeal bond motion efforts. He said there’s more reading and research he has to do before appealing the conviction itself. 

According to that motion, prosecutors are not opposed to the deadline delay.

The court has not ruled on that yet.

Based on information in other filed motions, Brown’s appeal will focus on the judge’s decision to remove a juror during the deliberations process, because the juror stated he had been guided by the “Holy Spirit.”  Following her conviction, her attorney filed a motion for a new trial based on the same decision, and that motion was denied.

Kent filed a 32-page motion Dec. 29, which sought to prevent Brown from having to report to federal prison on Jan. 29, instead allowing her to remain free while her appeals are exhausted.

In his motion to delay her reporting date, Kent pointed out that Brown’s initial motion for bond pending appeal, filed by James Smith, only included one page of discussion of the issue of the dismissed juror.

The government spent 12 pages opposing it, and the court’s order denying the motion spent two pages discussing it. 

Kent, in his motion for an appeal bond, spent 33 pages discussing the issue, which had a lengthy response, and then another substantial reply from him.

The point he tried to make in Monday's motion is that it’s a much more complex issue than was initially presented when Smith asked the district court to give Brown bond while she appealed. He said that justified giving the appeals court more time to make a decision before Brown has to report to prison.

But that decision was made Monday -- not in Brown's favor.

It’s not yet clear which federal prison facility Brown will report to on Jan. 29.  However, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has already assigned her a federal inmate number, 67315-018.

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Lynnsey Gardner - News4Jax
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