PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Reporter Ralph Cipriano interviewed the juror dismissed from the corruption case against former Congressman Chaka Fattah, who says the verdict should have been a hung jury but the rest of the jurors had him removed because he was the only dissenting vote.
Cipriano, who interviewed the Lancaster County resident for Philly Voice, told Chris Stigall he contends the other jurors would not listen to him.
“His story is that he kept making the same case to them and they didn’t want to hear it, so that’s why they wrote the note to the judge. Now, we don’t know what the note to the judge says because that’s another thing that’s under seal. Again, he’s only one guy. It would be great if the other jurors would come out and say, hey, this guy was a jerk, or whatever the story was, but right now, we just have Juror number 12’s side of the story and blanket of secrecy over the whole thing.”
He relayed that the juror did not the believe the prosecution proved their allegations to be true.
“He had problems with the entire case. He thought the whole case was an overreach. He was a very literal guy who kept going to what the printed record had to say. To be honest, the case was incredibly boring. I had to sit through some of it. The only thing the Government had, in my opinion, was these two turncoat political consultants who testified against Fattah. The juror was troubled by that. He just basically said, these guys were out to save their own skin. They admitted, the lead witness against Fattah, Thomas Lindenfeld, the political consultant, he admitted on the stand that he had lied to his wife, his kids, his family, his business associates, the government about the case. The juror was saying, why would I believe him if he’s testifying to save his own skin? Why would I believe anything he has to say? That was the juror’s problem with that.”
Cipriano also stated he shares some of the views of the dismissed juror.
“He just didn’t think the Government proved its case. I’ve got to tell you that I was troubled by the fact that there was nothing on paper, in writing, that connected Fattah to this million dollar loan scheme to pay off his campaign expenses. So, I had to admit that, even as a juror, I would’ve been troubled by that. If you’re going to put a guy away in jail, you want to see something in black and white before you send him off. That was his problem with the case.”