Fumo jury to begin deliberations

    A jury of ten women and two men will begin deliberation Thursday in the federal corruption trial of former state Senator Vince Fumo. Fumo faces 139 counts of fraud and obstruction of justice. The jury heard dramatic conclusions from both sides on Wednesday.

    A jury of ten women and two men will begin deliberation Thursday in the federal corruption trial of former state Senator Vince Fumo. Fumo faces 139 counts of fraud and obstruction of justice. The jury heard dramatic conclusions from both sides on Wednesday. WHYY’s Susan Phillips reports.

    Transcript:
    Fumo’s defense attorney Dennis Cogan likes literary references. He began his closing arguments by quoting Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. He ended by reading a scene from Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons.

    Cogan: “He’s the devil, he’s the devil, next you would be telling me that you would give the devil benefit of law.”

    Cogan accused the government of demonizing Fumo, and destroying the career of an effective politician with what he termed “prosecution by accumulation.” But Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Zauzmer says power and money corrupted Fumo, and he lost his sense of right and wrong.

    Zauzmer: “Does it then demonize Mr. Fumo to say, follow the law. Do good things. Be a good legislator but don’t take hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions of dollars of taxpayer money for yourself.”

    Fumo is accused of using his Senate staff as personal servants and pilfering both a museum and a non-profit of millions of dollars.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090305fumo.mp3]

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