Former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) asked a federal appeals court Monday to throw out his conviction on public corruption charges, asserting his defense was “devastated” by flawed jury instructions, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Jefferson filed the appeal in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia.
A federal jury found Jefferson guilty in August 2009 of charges that included conspiracy to solicit bribes, money laundering, wire fraud and racketeering.
In his appeal Monday, Jefferson argued that U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis made two errors in his instructions to jurors prior to their deliberations.
Ellis sentenced Jefferson to 13 years in federal prison in November 2009, the longest prison term issued to a former House Member, but he allowed Jefferson to remain free pending his appeal.
Federal prosecutors have about one month to respond to the appeal, the AP reported.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.