Alternate Juror Defends Convicted Ex-Trenton Mayor

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC10 Philadelphia
    September 10, 2012: Trenton mayor Tony Mack (C) was arrested by the FBI in connection with a political corruption case that the government says also involves his brother Rafael, and ex-con Joseph "JoJo" Giorgianni.

    An alternate juror who didn’t get a chance to express her belief in Tony Mack’s innocence asked the judge overseeing the case for leniency in the sentencing of the former Trenton mayor in a letter, which also referred to the former Trenton mayor’s guilty verdict as “rushed.”

    “The prosecution did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” wrote Sherie Jackson, who went on to explain if the random selection had made her part of the jury instead of an alternate she’d still be arguing for Mack’s innocence.

    “I was so devastated when my fellow jurors returned the verdict they did because it felt as though they had not been in the same courtroom as I,” Jackson continued. “I hesitate to criticize my fellow jurors, but I must tell Your Honor I feel the verdict was rushed. In the jury room I heard plans to go [on] a cruise, to a relative’s wedding, and an overall atmosphere of impatience as the trial stretched on.” 

    In February a jury found Mack guilty of bribery, fraud and extortion after he was busted as part of a government sting. On Thursday a judge sentenced Mack to 58 months behind bars, and ordered him to pay a $3,000 fine and complete 100 hours of community service over a 6-month span.

    His brother, Ralphiel Mack, was also convicted on extortion and bribery charges earlier this year. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison Thursday.

    Both the ex-mayor and his sibling could have received several decades in prison. Mack’s attorney, Mark Davis, asked U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp to issue a sentence of no more than 38 months, citing the humiliation he has already suffered as a more severe punishment than a lengthy jail sentence.

    The alternate juror also requested the judge show compassion.

    “I am asking Your Honor for the utmost leniency in the sentences given to both Mack brothers,” she wrote. “I trust that your even-keeled temperament and strong will I saw everyday during the trial will weight this statement of trust as you consider sentencing. Please, for the sake of justice, spare these men a harsh fate.”

    Judge Shipp recommended 63 to 78 months during Thursday’s hearing before ruling Mack would spend 58 months behind bars. 

    Mack plans to appeal the sentencing, which is expected to begin within the next three months, according to Davis. 


    Contact Alison Burdo at 610.668.5635, alison.burdo@nbcuni.com or follow @NewsBurd on Twitter.