Harvey Weinstein trial: how finding an impartial jury became a spectacle

the Guardian | 1/18/2020 | Lauren Aratani
A surprise appearance from a supermodel, the threat of prison for a tweet and the intense search for an impartial jury has turned the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein into a spectacle in its early weeks and raised fears over the difficulty of picking an impartial jury.

The New York supreme court called in 2,000 people as potential jurors for the case, which kicked off on 6 January. About 600 actually showed up to court, and the numbers have slowly been whittled down closer to the 12 jurors and six alternates the trial calls for. By Thursday afternoon, seven jurors had been confirmed. Opening arguments are set to take place 22 January.

Jury - Weinstein - Trial - Members - Jury

Crafting a jury for Weinstein’s trial has not been easy. Members of a jury are supposed to come into the trial with no biases about Weinstein or the women being represented in the case.

Each day during jury selection, more than a hundred potential jurors have streamed into the courtroom where the trial is taking place. There, many of them have gotten glimpses of the disgraced movie mogul in the flesh, who comes to court with his lawyers every day, the whir of his metal walker clashing with the silence that falls on the room upon his arrival.

Women - Misconduct - Allegations - Weinstein - Trial

More than 100 women have come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein, but the trial’s focus is on two women: one who accused him of rape, and a second who charged a criminal sexual act.

Weinstein has denied all allegations.

Stages - Trial - Jury - Selection - Pool

In the early stages of the trial’s jury selection, a third of the pool of 600 potential jurors were dismissed after telling Judge James Burke that they could not be impartial jurors on the case. More were dismissed later after divulging details, such as connections they have to Weinstein or his accusers.

One potential juror said...
(Excerpt) Read more at: the Guardian
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