Lawyers for former D.C. mayor Marion Barry say remarks made by the trial judge to Harvard law students indicate prejudice against Barry and should be used in support of their appeal of his drug conviction.

Barry's lawyers said in a motion filed last week that U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's remarks about the case "indicate that {Jackson} had already developed a mind-set against {Barry}" at the time he sentenced him to six months in prison for cocaine possession.

Jackson spoke to the Harvard law students on Oct. 30, four days after he sentenced Barry.

Jackson told the students that he thought the government's case against Barry was the strongest he had ever seen. He said he believed Barry was guilty of more than the single cocaine count of which he was convicted.

The judge also said he thought some of the jurors refused to vote guilty because of factors unrelated to the evidence.

Barry's lawyers are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals to send the case back to Jackson so they can introduce evidence of the judge's alleged bias to support their appeal. They have until tomorrow to file their entire appeal.

In a response filed yesterday, U.S. Attorney Jay B. Stephens said the maneuver is an improper request for additional time. He also said that the law did not prohibit Jackson from showing a bias against Barry if it came from evidence presented at the mayor's trial.

The appeals court has not set a hearing on Barry's motion. Oral arguments in the case had been scheduled for April 30.

In his appeal, Barry is being represented by R. Kenneth Mundy, who defended him at his trial, and by New York legal activist William M. Kunstler and Harvard law professors Alan Dershowitz and Charles J. Ogletree.

In Stephens's response to the Barry motion, the prosecutor singled out Ogletree's participation in Barry's appeal, saying it arguably is improper for Ogletree to represent Barry because Ogletree had invited Jackson to the Harvard speaking engagement.

In addition, Stephens noted that after media coverage of Jackson's remarks, Ogletree defended Jackson's right to talk about the case in a letter published in The Washington Post.

Jackson and Barry's lawyers could not be reached for comment yesterday.

After a 10-week trial, Barry was convicted Aug. 10 of a single charge of cocaine possession and acquitted on another.

The jury failed to reach a verdict on the 12 remaining counts, including three felony charges of lying to a grand jury. Afterward, Stephens announced he would not seek a retrial on the remaining charges.

Barry has remained free pending the appeal.