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Congressman Claims DOJ Race Bias

Posted Sep 10, 2007 6:33 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A congressman accused of bribery says the Justice Department is trying him in Alexandria, Va., because juries there have fewer African-Americans.

U.S. Rep. William Jefferson is asking a judge to move his trial to Washington, D.C., where many of the alleged crimes are said to have taken place, the New York Times reports. “The court has an obligation to ensure that the forum selection in this case was not tainted by radically discriminatory motive,” said court papers filed on Jefferson’s behalf by his lawyer, Robert Trout.

A Justice Department spokesman says race was not a factor in its choice of venue.

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