Jury screening continued today at the trial of the former producer, Harvey Weinstein. Progress has been steady and slow, due to numerous motions filed by the defence as well as the process itself, which has been intense and in-depth. Nevertheless, seven jurors have now been selected, four men and three women.
Before screening got underway Donna Rotunno again asked Judge Burke to further question the jury pool in private, on the back of the 87 page motion filed to that tune yesterday by her co-counsel, Arthur Aidala.
Joan Illuzzi objected, again, and Judge Burke said this:
“Your application has been denied, there will be no individual sequestration. The method in which we are doing this four part laborious, time consuming jury panel is working – and I will be attentive to your concerns”
With Gigi Hadid, the supermodel and Vogue Covergirl, being dismissed by both sides, Judge Burke warned around 140 people in the courtroom that the trial would not be a referendum on #MeToo or Women’s Rights – although he was quick to add that there’s no controversy here that women’s rights are good.
He further underlined the importance of deciding the outcome of the case solely based on the evidence put before the court.
One former potential male juror was called back before the court for allegedly posting his summons on Twitter and was told he was facing 30 days in jail and was told to return on March 10 with an attorney. Judge Burke further advised that if he could not afford one, he would get one for him.
And so to the seven selected thus far – four men, three white and one African American and three women, two who are African American and one who is African America and Latino. Why is that relevant? Well, Joan Illuzzi filed a formal complaint to the Judge that the defence team were systematically excluding young white women and highlighted that they had eliminated at least seven young white women from two jury pools.
Judge Burke denied the prosecution’s objections and jury screening continues.