Federal judge rejects fumo's retrial request

    A federal judge has rejected a request by convicted former state Senator Vincent Fumo for a new trial, based on new evidence.

    A federal judge has rejected a request by convicted former state Senator Vincent Fumo for a new trial, based on new evidence. Last week, Fumo asked the judge for a new trial claiming the jury was tainted. The jury found Fumo guilty of 137 counts of fraud and obstruction of justice in March.

    Federal District Judge Ronald Buckwalter says Fumo’s request did not meet the standard for a new trial.

    In court papers filed last week, Fumo’s defense lawyer Dennis Cogan said at least one juror had been prejudiced by information gained from a co-worker. The juror had apparently learned of Fumo’s prior corruption conviction. The judge had ruled to keep that information from the jury.

    Former federal prosecutor Barry Gross says the bar for a new trial is set high for good reason.

    Gross: If this was allowed you would get a challenge on every verdict in every case whether it was civil or criminal. You could have a juror come back an year later and say jeese… I was thinking about this piece of evidence.

    Judge Buckwalter is also weighing how much money Fumo owes in restitution. The former Senator is scheduled to be sentenced next Tuesday.

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