Harvey Weinstein is appealing the criminal case that landed him in prison. His lawyers brought forward a 166-page brief alleging an unfair trial.
Harvey Weinstein has filed an appeal over his criminal rape conviction, saying that he received an unfair trial, a biased jury, and an excessively harsh sentence. Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year sentence in New York after he was found guilty of first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape. The allegations against him first came to the public in October of 2017, which led to an outpouring of more women who said Weinstein had sexually violated them either through rape, assault, or harassment. This catalyzed the social movement known as #MeToo, which has inspired women and men to speak out about their experiences, not just in Hollywood but across society.
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After allegations first arose, Weinstein was quickly expelled from Hollywood. He was fired from his company, which ended up becoming obsolete not long after its founder. He faced a civil trial which resulted in him having to pay a large settlement to his accusers. Following the civil lawsuit, Weinstein was later arrested and faced with criminal charges, both in New York and California. He is currently carrying out the sentence in New York, and was set to be extradited and tried in California later. Now, his case is looking even more complicated.
On Monday morning, Weinstein’s lawyers filed an appeal in the Appellate Division in Manhattan Supreme Court. Per CNBC, his lawyers provided a 166-page brief which outlined his claims. They include the claim that Weinstein was denied his constitutional right to a fair trial, alleging that he was not provided with an impartial jury. He also says that he was denied a fair trial because jurors heard testimony from people not involved in the case, but he was not allowed to bring forward witnesses to testify on the validity of memory. Weinstein’s lawyers also argued that he received a sentence that was “harsh and excessive.”
CNBC also heard from Douglas Wigdor, a lawyer who represents several women who have made allegations against Weinstein, one of whom actually testified in the relevant New York trial. Wigdor said, “Harvey Weinstein’s criminal appeal is a desperate attempt to undo a fair trial overseen by Judge Burke and the findings of a well-reasoned and thoughtful jury.” Wigdor believes that the appeal will not go through, and if it does, he says he is confident it will not alter Weinstein’s sentence.
The Courts have yet to say whether or not they will review the case. It is also unclear how this will affect the other charges that are pending against Weinstein. What is clear is that social norms have changed in the wake of the #MeToo movement, and any changes to his case likely won’t result in Weinstein re-entering Hollywood.
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