Jury Deliberations Resume Monday - With No Verdict Yet - In Harvey Weinstein Rape Trial

 December 12, 2022

According to the Associated Press, jurors assigned to the Los Angeles rape and sexual misconduct trial of Harvey Weinstein have been deliberating for a week without reaching a verdict. The jury, consisting of eight men and four women, went home Friday afternoon and returned to resume deliberations today.

Having received the case at the end of closing arguments on Dec. 2, they have been deliberating for 5 1/2 days, or supposedly for about 24 hours total. Urged by prosecutors to end the “reign of terror” of a man, they called a “degenerate rapist,” jurors were task with their decision. They must determine, Weinstein’s guilt or innocence on, two counts of rape and five other sexual assault counts against the 70-year-old former movie magnate.

Raising no issues during their deliberations, the jurors, have asked no questions of the court, that might prove insightful into the status of their work. In fact, the only issue raised, and the only time the attorneys have returned to the courtroom in a week, came on Friday morning, when one of the five alternate jurors asked if he could be excused, because of travel plans. The judge rejected the request when Weinstein’s lawyers objected.

With more than 20 years left, on his sentence in New York, after a rape and sexual assault conviction there, Weinstein has appealed the conviction. In California, Weinstein could receive a 60 years to life sentence in prison, if he’s convicted on all counts involving the four women he’s charged with assaulting.  Along with four other accusers, testifying for prosecutors, in an attempt to show a propensity for such acts by Weinstein, all four accusers testified during the trial.

Weinstein’s lawyers claimed after the #MeToo movement made Weinstein a target, they argued that two of the women’s accusations were entirely fabricated and two others reframed consensual sexual encounters as assault years after the fact. Weinstein in his defense, has pleaded not guilty, and has denied engaging in any non-consensual sex.

That jurors have had a difficult time reaching a verdict is no small evidence of the harshness of what they were graphically subject to in Harvey Weinstein’s trial. That there is much to discuss is also seems more than appropriate. While both the accused and the accusers wait for a verdict, may the can of worms that was opened by his previous trial finally be divested of all of its contents and may the healing needed by Weinstein’s victims be the focus moving forward.

One of those unique individuals’ who will likely never understand the gravity of his actions, may Weinstein find his real freedom in accepting, to whatever level possible, his imposed sentence behind bars by this jury of his peers. The mentality of individuals such as Weinstein, can only be subdued by external means which forces needed change, irrespective of what they understand or think.

“Since narcissists deep down feel themselves to be faultless, it is inevitable that when they are in conflict with the world they will invariably perceive the conflict as the world’s fault.”

-M. Scott Peck
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