December 13, 2016
A federal judge has scheduled a hearing for 10 a.m. Friday on a motion by Philadelphia Media Network to unseal "record and information relating to the dismissal of Juror No. 12 in the Chaka Fattah corruption trial over the summer.
U.S. District Court Judge Harvey Bartle on Monday morning sentenced the former congressman to 10 years in prison on a racketeering and corruption conviction. At the same time, PMN filed a motion to intervene in the Fattah case, an effort to obtain "records and information related to dismissal of juror," according to a story Tuesday by Ralph Cipriano of bigtrial.net.
Exhibit 1 in the Inquirer's motion is a PhillyVoice story from Aug. 3 headlined "Should Chaka Fattah trial have ended with a hung jury?" written by contributors Cipriano and George Anastasia.
Exhibit 2 attached by the lawyers was a copy of a bigtrial.net blog post from Dec. 4, which was headlined, "As Sentencing Nears, Debate Continues Over Chaka Fattah."
In their PhillyVoice exclusive, Cipriano and Anastasia detailed how the 12th juror in the Fattah case, a Lancaster County man, was dismissed from the trial for allegedly refusing to deliberate. Cipriano interviewed Juror No. 12, who insisted he wasn't refusing to deliberate but refusing to change his mind.
The lone member of the jury voting not to convict Fattah, he held out through eight consecutive 11-1 votes where he was the lone juror not to find the congressman guilty. Juror No. 12's revelations led to speculation about whether a hung jury would have been the proper result of the trial.
Bartle imposed a gag order – to prevent discussion of Juror No. 12 – on all the lawyers involved in the Fattah case.
For more on the story, go to bigtrial.net.