Dress code thinned jury pool, attorneys claim

Prospective jurors turned away at Orlando federal courthouse, motion states

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Attorneys representing clients convicted in a mortgage fraud case say their clients rights were violated when security guards at Orlando's federal courthouse turned away prospective jurors because they didn't meet the dress code.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports attorneys John Bergendahl and Bruce Zimet are asking for a new trial in a motion filed Friday. They say their clients' Sixth Amendment rights were violated

A 12-member jury convicted Jim Sotolongo and Stephanie Musselwhite on April 28 of defrauding the United States and financial institutions.

The motion states that a number of jurors were turned away by security because "they were not in compliance with the juror dress code."

The juror brochure states that proper juror attire includes coats and ties for men and similarly appropriate attire for women.

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