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Juror Reveals What Was Going On Behind The Scenes During Harvey Weinstein Trial

In an interview with “CBS This Morning” that aired Friday, one of the twelve jurors who found mega-producer Harvey Weinstein guilty of two of the lesser of the five charges brought against him in the state of New York offered a glimpse into what was going on behind the scenes during the five-day deliberation process and addressed some of the key arguments in the case.

On Monday, a jury composed of seven men and five women convicted Weinstein on two of five charges brought against him in the state — a criminal sex act in the first degree and rape in the third degree — but acquitted the disgraced producer on the most serious charges in the case: two counts of predatory sexual assault and one count of first-degree rape. Instead of a potential life sentence, Weinstein now faces up to 29 years in prison.
During the trial, six women testified that Weinstein had sexually assaulted them, but the charges stemmed from only two of the women’s accusations. The other four alleged victims’ testimonies were intended to show a pattern of abusive behavior by the powerful Hollywood figure.
The trial, as “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King noted in the interview, was a pivotal moment in the #MeToo movement, but “juror number nine,” Drew, says that the movement had no impact on the jury’s decision.
“It would be an adulteration of the process to take outside factors and have that weigh on our decision-making process and eventual findings,” Drew told King, as reported by CBS News.
“We were there to do a job, to make a decision based on the information that was presented to us,” he said, “and we have absolutely no stance or voice or opinion as to any type of larger movement.”
The focus during the five days of deliberation, said Drew, was to closely examine the legal definitions of the charges and weigh those against the evidence.
The details of Jessica Mann’s testimony, he said, merited a conviction of third-degree rape, not first-degree rape, based on both terms’ legal definitions.
“It wasn’t rape in the first degree. There was no physical compulsion with the threat of bodily harm or death,” he explained. “But there was no consent given, despite a lack of physical resistance, and a reasonable person should have known that there was no consent given in that instance.”
One of the key arguments of the defense was that some of the victims maintained relationships with Weinstein after the assaults, and Drew revealed that the jury wrestled early on with that contention. “In the earlier parts of the deliberation, there was huge discourse about things of that nature,” he said.
When King pressed Drew if the defense’s argument factored into their decision, Drew said no. “It’s an alleged incident, not kind of this whole canvas of relationship,” he said. “It’s, you know, husbands can rape their wives. And it’s a complicated issue, for sure, but it was our contention that it’s one incident.”
One of the controversies that arose during the lengthy deliberations was the jurors sending a note on the fourth day to the judge asking if it was possible to be split on some of the counts and unanimous on others. The note, said Drew, was an attempt to gain clarification and probably not handled carefully enough.
“Maybe that’s our fault for the syntax of the note,” he said. “But I know now that people kind of deduced that maybe he was guilty somewhere along the line, and I’ll tell you, I was sick about it. Because, he’s a human being and he’s going home that night and knowing that he’s walking into court Monday morning and potentially not leaving.”
In reference to “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra’s testimony, which was allowed as part of the prosecution’s attempt to show an alleged pattern of abuse to merit a “predatory assault” charge, Drew suggested that while her testimony was “compelling,” the prosecution did not meet the “very high burden” required for such a charge.
“But these are serious allegations, and that’s a very high burden that the prosecution took upon itself in bringing these charges,” he explained. “It’s 27 years ago, and in this country, you know, you and I and even Harvey Weinstein are innocent until proven beyond a reasonable doubt of the opposite.”
As for Weinstein’s decision not to take the stand, Drew said that while he “wanted him to,” the decision did not impact the process because they focused on “what we had in front of us,” rather than conjecture.
The focus, Drew said in summary, was to avoid “groupthink” and to try to maintain complete “objectivity” in the process, which he said he feels he personally was able to accomplish despite the high-profile and highly charged nature of the case. 

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