The Los Angeles jury considering rape and sex assault charges against Harvey Weinstein on Friday completed a full week of deliberations without a verdict – or even so much as a peep.
No questions, no requests to read back testimony, and no indication of how things are going. The panel’s radio silence is not particularly unusual, nor is the amount of time things are taking, given the complexity of the case and the number of witnesses.
But the two things together make it impossible to even speculate about what’s going on back there.
By the time they went home late Friday afternoon, jurors had deliberated for a total of 26 hours over 5½ days, and were due back Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. The only spark of drama so far: An alternate juror asked on Friday to be excused to begin a trip planned for next week, but was denied.
And the most interesting detail from pool reports since deliberations began came on Thursday: “Today they had muffins.”
In Weinstein’s New York trial in 2022, jurors started deliberating Feb. 18 (a Tuesday) and announced their verdict the following Monday morning (Feb. 24). In that trial, they asked for testimony read-backs and at one point told the judge they were deadlocked on some counts, which were sent back for more deliberations.
Los Angeles jurors heard 44 prosecution witnesses – and a handful for the defense – in the two-month trial that began with jury selection on Oct. 10. Only four made accusations upon which criminal charges were based.
Four other accusers testified as support, or “prior bad acts,” witnesses. Prosecutors originally brought 11 counts based on the accusations of five women; however, Jane Doe 5 never materialized and without her testimony, four of the charges were dropped.
Weinstein could still face up to 140 years in a California prison from the remaining five counts of sexual assault and two counts of rape. He is already serving 23 years in a New York prison for criminal first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape, a conviction he has been granted the right to appeal.