With prosecutor Joan Illuzzi back to good health and in court for Day 5 of the Harvey Weinstein trial, Arthur Aidala, co-counsel for the defence team, wasted no time filing a new 14 page motion requesting for the media to be removed from the courtroom and for each potential juror to be questioned privately and in more detail.
Aidala cited a number of key reasons including January 8 when one potential juror, Ava Lim, disclosed that one of her friend’s had an “encounter” with the defendant, Harvey Weinstein, in a hotel room and therefore could not be impartial. She asked to be excused and quickly exited. No further details about what happened were discussed, and the full remark was not audible in the courtroom when she initially spoke. However, Aidala has requested that the 32 jurors that were present in the court room at this time be dismissed.
Aidala further claimed some prospective jurors have been “less than honest” with the court about their motivations, including one who tweeted about using the trial as a way to promote their new novel. Another juror, Aidala said, had failed to disclose the book that they were working on, due for publication this year, is about women and predatory older men and another potential juror, who was asked on Facebook whether they had been selected for the Harvey Weinstein trial, replied with a smiley emoji face. Aidala stated that this highlighted a lack of seriousness and diligence required for jury service on this case.
The motion also detailed that a large percentage of potential jurors have suffered sexual abuse and/or domestic abuse or someone they knew had been abused and that if this is the case, they should be questioned more in private about this, that it could potentially bolster the prosecution’s case and that it would be prejudicial against Harvey Weinstein. The final key plank of the motion detailing why Aidala wanted to quiz potential jurors in more depth, taking more time, related to the new charges filed in Los Angeles against Harvey Weinstein. Aidala wrote that they wanted to find out what exactly each juror had heard about the case and the new LA charges as he believes that it further impacts on Harvey Weinstein’s right to a fair and impartial jury.
In response, Judge Burke said he would give his decision on Monday, once he had read the motion in full over the weekend.
Meanwhile outside court, around 60 women dressed in black, performed a feminist anthem and dance in protest chanting in Spanish and English, “It’s the judges, the state, the president, the oppressive state is the rapist. It’s not my fault or how I dressed. The rapist is you” pointing at the courthouse to Harvey Weinstein.
Jury screening will continue on Monday.
My Two Cents: Day 5 of The Harvey Weinstein Trial #Weinstein #SexualAbuse #CoerciveControl