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Behind the awaited verdict at the Maxwell jury deliberations

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NEW YORK (AP)

Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial was a tortuous four-week journey with the grisly testimonies of four women, who accused the British social media site of grooming themselves underage to abuse at the hands of financier Jeffrey Epstein. The defense of perpetuating abuse may be real, but Maxwell is not part of it.

Everything has come to a climax earlier this week with a guilty verdict in federal court in Manhattan, delivered after five days of jury deliberation.

The identities of the jurors have been kept secret. However, there are clues in the record as to who they are and hints as to how they arrived at the decision to hang for five days amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in New York City that threatens to derail. trial cake.

Here are some reflections on the players involved and how the discussions unfolded:

THE JURORS

They are six men and six women from different educational and professional backgrounds who survived the selection process by showing they had no prejudice about the case.

No one cares or makes a mark on social media. One juror, asked what she does for fun, replied, “I love cleaning.”

Some of their work foreshadows the aptitude they show for the arduous, tedious process of reaching a solution: a bank teller, a city clerk, a government contract specialist, a deputy. life science company president, home health assistant, health program project manager.

Identified only by numbers, they seemed attentive throughout the trial. After the deliberations began, they sent notes with occasional questions and requested transcripts of most of the important testimony of the trial, which never hinted at an impasse.

“Our discussions are progressing and we are making progress,” they told the judge Tuesday in a factual note before ruling the next day.

JUDGE

After a decade on the bench, U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan delivered her biggest case yet. with Ghislaine Maxwell.

During the trial, Nathan learned she had been appointed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, a promotion that forced her to pause the trial for three days while she traveled to Washington to answer questions from the senators. congressman considers her confirmation.

In making her verdict, Nathan seemed unequivocally confident and largely unchanged when she had reached her conclusion. No one knows it better than Maxwell, who has watched Nathan decline her bail request time and time again.

But during the deliberation, the judge admitted that the jury itself was negligent. She accepts their wishes during business hours even when it goes against her instructions, noting that they are “not afraid to say” what they want.

THE RACE AGAINST COVID

Nathan did not hide his anxiety from the jury about the possibility that a coronavirus outbreak among jurors could force a person to be negligent. During the first week of deliberations, she invited the jurors to meet the Tuesday before the Christmas break. They refused.

By Monday, she had ramped up the pressure, asking them to stay an extra hour each night – again denied.

She disclosed her concerns to attorneys Tuesday, telling them her request was “because we’re seeing an astronomical increase” in coronavirus cases in New York City, which was confirmed driven by omicron variation. She hid her fears from the jury after defense attorneys worried it would put undue pressure on them to deliver a verdict.

By Wednesday, she’s poised to ramp up the pressure even further, telling jurors they’ll be working on New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and even Sunday if they haven’t yet delivered a verdict. Later that day, Nathan, breathing heavily, sat on the bench at 4:58 p.m. to announce the verdict.

MAXWELL’S LAST DAY

The final day of the trial was off to a good start for Maxwell.

A jury that has been debating for four full days sent the judge a note early in the morning saying they wanted transcripts of testimony from half a dozen witnesses. The juries also wanted that of an expert who cast a shadow on the veracity of Maxwell’s accusers’ memories.

Is it a signal that they are undecided and the jury acquitted or hanged still in the cards?

As the judge settled matters with the jury outside the courtroom, a furious Maxwell seemed to think so. Eyes beaming over her mask, she purposely rotated the chair at the defense table in the direction of the two artists sketching the courtroom and posing for them.

Discussions took place. The jury was silent. No more notes for hours.

But at the end of the day, a final note came.

“We have a verdict,” the judge said as the courtroom fell silent.

A defense team that has regularly expressed public affection for Maxwell sat completely still with her when the verdict was read. On most days, she hugged her lawyers to and from the courtroom.

This time, no hugs.

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https://www.winknews.com/2021/12/31/behind-the-wait-for-a-verdict-at-maxwell-jury-deliberations/ Behind the awaited verdict at the Maxwell jury deliberations

Aila Slisco

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