A federal judge thwarted Biloxi attorney Paul Minor’s right to a fair trial on judicial bribery charges, his attorneys argue in an appellate brief that asks the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to send the case back for a third trial before a different judge.
Minor’s attorneys argue prosecutors won bribery convictions against Minor and two Coast judges without proving their transactions were bribes – money offered to buy favorable decisions from the judges.
Minor’s legal team, led by Abbe Lowell of Washington, said U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate held prosecutors to a higher standard at a 2005 trial: They had to prove specific intent to corrupt on Minor’s part and specific intent to take a bribe on the judges’. Wingate refused to give those instructions to a second jury at the 2007 retrial, Minor’s attorneys say.