Actually, it’s a pretty major matter if you’re Paul Minor and it’s your appeal. Belle and I’ve been tracking the docket at the 5th and haven’t been able to retrieve any documents – but with a h/t to legalsnauzer, here’s a press release.
Attorneys for Paul Minor have filed an appeal of his conviction with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The brief outlines the following issues that warrant reversal of Mr. Minor’s conviction:
The District Court committed reversible error when it did not properly instruct the jury on the legal requirements for a bribery conviction, thus permitting the jury to convict Mr. Minor for conduct that was neither charged in the indictment nor considered bribery under federal law. The District Court committed reversible error when it prevented Mr. Minor from presenting crucial, relevant evidence that would have rebutted the charges. Specifically, Mr. Minor–charged for attempting to bribe Judge Whitfield–was not allowed to show the jury that he did not file his more significant cases in Judge Whitfield’s court. The District court committed reversible error by not dismissing bribery charges against Mr. Minor because the evidence did not meet threshold of the federal bribery statute and the jury was improperly instructed on this fact.
Bishop Joe Doss of Free America’s Political Prisoners who issued the release also included a statement:
It should be abhorrent to every American citizen that a man is forced to remain in prison while–as his appeal brief so clearly shows–there are glaring questions surrounding how this case was investigated, prosecuted and tried.
Paul Minor carries the additional burden of knowing that his wife is dying of cancer and has been given only a short time to live. His unjust incarceration makes it very likely that he will never see her again. Paul’s release on bond pending appeal is not only legally justified, but considering the imminent death of his wife Sylvia, it is mandated if this process is to salvage a scintilla of basic human decency.
We’ll keep you posted.