Dimora Trial: Debate Over Jury Instructions

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Attorneys for Jimmy Dimora have only one more chance to make an impression on his jury and Monday was all about getting those details exactly right.

Facing 37 charges that could keep him in federal prison for 60 years, attorneys for former Cuyahoga County commissioner Jimmy Dimora debated over the final instructions the jury will hear.

For six weeks the jury has heard about trips to Las Vegas, expensive meals, and tens of thousands of dollars of work done at Dimora's home in Independence.

To convict him, jurors will have to be convinced that Dimora provided official acts in exchange for things of value.

On Monday prosecutors asked Judge Sara Lioi to define an official act as "any actions done under the cloak of office."

Dimora's attorneys called the definition "unconstitutionally vague."

Defense attorneys argued that just because an official receives a gift, that does not automatically make it against the law.

Dimora's attorneys also hoped to convince a jury that he would have taken the same actions in office even if he was not given something of value.

Prosecutor Ann Rowland told the court, "Regardless of the merits of an issue you can't take a bribe."

The jury will hear all of this Tuesday, then closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday.

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