Was Bob McDonnell in Jail During Appeal? No. But Chaka Fattah Will...

Was Bob McDonnell in Jail During Appeal? No. But Chaka Fattah Will Be.


if there’s one thing about the case of former Congressman Chaka Fattah that’s strikingly different than what happened to Virginia’s former Governor Bob McDonnell it’s that the case.

CBS Philly is reporting this morning that a judge denied the former Pennsylvania Congressman’s request to be free as he appeals his conviction on racketeering.  When McDonnell waited for over a year for a prison sentence to begin after being convicted of corruption he was free as appeal after appeal was heard which is not unusual.

But there has been nothing routine about the Fattah case.  The case is the result of a seven year investigation that included Fattah’s son. The trial included a dismissed juror who later told a veteran investigative reporter, Ralph Cipriano, that he’d voted several times to acquit the former Congressman before being removed from the jury.  

During deliberations, the jury foreman in the Fattah case wrote to Judge Harvey Bartle saying:

“Juror No. 12 refuses to vote by the letter of the law. He will not, after proof, still change his vote. His answer will not change. He has the 11 of us a total wreck knowing that we are not getting anywhere in the hour of deliberation [yesterday] and the three hours today.”

The trial also included no direct evidence that presented by the prosecution that Fattah orchestrated a web of corruption in an effort to pay back a $1 million loan.  The trial was a similar type of prosecution seen in the McDonnell case, but the results and the decisions along the way have been quite different.  

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Lauren Victoria Burke
Twitter: @LVBurke / Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist who analyses politics and justice reform. She created Crewof42.com, a blog that covers the work of African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke has also been a staffer for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Director of Communications for Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). She has had a very diverse career in politics and media and appears weekly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin. She has also appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton and Up with Steve Kornacki on MSNBC. She is also a contributing writer for NBCNews.com and TheRoot.com Ms. Burke was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. E-mail: LBurke007@gmail.com. Instagram: LVB325.