Earlier this week, lawyers who represent Harvey Weinstein have submitted an appeal of their client’s conviction for multiple sex-related crimes. This appeal includes multiple reasons why they believe that Weinstein is entitled to a fair trial in absence of his first one.
The appeal included over 165 pages of arguments and evidence from the Weinstein legal team. This document states that the trial that put Weinstein in jail was too “cavalier.”
It goes on to point out that Juror no. 11 should have been removed due to having written a fictional book that included predatory older men. “Juror No. 11 was unqualified to sit as a juror, notwithstanding any promise by her to be fair. In addition, based on the imminent publication of her book, she had a pecuniary motive to convict the defendant,” the lawyers argued.
“Weinstein’s trial was overwhelmed by excessive, random, and highly dubious prior bad act evidence, none of which shed light on disputed issues relevant to the charged offenses,” Weinstein’s lawyers wrote.
They continued, “Because the evidence on the charged offenses was weak, the prosecution inundated the jury with copious tales of alleged misconduct (much of which was not criminal in nature) that served no legitimate evidentiary purpose but merely depicted Weinstein as loathsome.”
Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in jail after his conviction of a criminal sex act and rape in the third degree in February of last year. He has been acquitted of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault.
Weinstein was sentenced to prison for 20 years because of the criminal sex act, with three additional years for the rape conviction, according to an NPR report.
NPR reported at the time:
Weinstein’s legal team cited this mixed verdict in a letter to the court, arguing that anything above the mandatory minimum of five years “is likely to constitute a de facto life sentence.” And after the 23-year sentence was handed down Wednesday, his lawyers labeled it “obscene.”
“That number spoke to the pressure of movements and the public. That number did not speak to the evidence that came out of trial. That number did not speak to the testimony that we heard,” defense attorney Donna Rotunno told reporters outside the courthouse afterward, adding: “I think the judge caved, just as I believe the jury caved.”
“Mr. Weinstein had a right to a fair trial by an impartial jury,” lawyers Barry Kamins, John Leventhal, and Diana Fabi-Samson wrote in the document.
“The trial court should have exercised the utmost vigilance in protecting this most important right of the defendant,” they wrote.
Weinstein claims that he is not guilty and that all sexual activity performed was consensual.