Saturday, December 10, 2016

Big Trial In The News

It was a good week in the media for Big Trial.

First, The Philadelphia Inquirer discovered by reading Big Trial that former L&I Deputy Commissioner Dominic Verdi had been found not guilty of the political corruption charges against him.

The Inquirer, which had hung Verdi out to dry publicly when he was indicted, but didn't bother to cover the trial that exonerated him, remedied that injustice by putting Verdi on the front page two days after a jury found him not guilty.

Then, the rest of the media pounced on a story that Big Trial's Ralph Cipriano and George Anastasia wrote for our partners at, about the mystery of the 12th juror in the Chaka Fattah case. That's the white guy from Lancaster County who was convinced that the government hadn't proved its case against Fattah, but the trial judge booted him off the jury. The news peg: the former congressman is due in court Monday to be sentenced, and faces 17-22 years in the slammer.

First, a bunch of Fattah's former staffers put up a website,, to raise questions about the case, starting with the mystery of the 12th Juror. Then, the Inquirer's Clout column weighed in on the mystery, and whether the congressman had gotten railroaded.

Finally, The Philadelphia Tribune followed up with a great column by lawyer Michael Coard, that went through the applicable legal standards and concluded it was high  time for the trial judge to clear up the mystery by unsealing a transcript of a closed-door hearing with that 12th Juror.

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