Listen: Jury selection begins in Harvey Weinstein trial
"Jury selection and Harvey Weinstein's criminal trial is underway in New York City Deep with opening statements scheduled for next week the pressure is on to assemble a panel of twelve jurors and about half a dozen or so alternates. The process this has been far from simple the wraps media and politics reporter. Jay Clara Chan has been following the case from the courtroom in downtown Manhattan and she joins joins us now from a courtroom hallway. Welcome to the show anything sadly so a headline grabber. From the case as week was that the Supermodel gee-gee had deed was dismissed. Let's talk about the bigger issues. What do we know about the jury pool size and how the selection process is going? Sure so did actually had sort of a accused stage jury selection process for last week that was essentially what we're calling a pre screening. Prospective jurors given a questionnaire already fill out and then based on their responses on that train drivers psych decide. You know we want to strike this person or not And then starting to gate which was more more exciting About one forty perspective jurors came into the courtroom and so there was a live who questioning period between the attorneys and from on that right after this morning session that just wrapped up. It looks like by jurors have been selected already so one of the things that lawyers for Harvey Weinstein have been arguing. Is that people's history of sexual assault or knowing somebody who is a victim or survivor of sexual assault should disqualify qualify them from serving on the jury. How is that issue been debated in the courtroom one of the sort of bigger misperceptions even for high profile case? It's like this is even the idea of knowing about one or having heard of the accusations about him. That doesn't actually necessarily immediately disqualify someone for the attorneys. It's more picking apart. How does that information potentially impact would that information potentially impact then or give them a by sees When considering the evidence that will be presented before them and then obviously one actually or for that is if perspective juror has experienced sexual assault or I know someone who has experienced sexual assault? I mean that is something that could very much influence how they view a case and for the most part what. We've been seeing so hard hard for jurors who way that has been the case They've sort of stood up and said you know. I don't think I can be fair impartial. And sort of already indicated a kid that they they shouldn't be selected. So that's something we've been seeing there. As potential jurors are being interviewed as part of this process. How much is coming out about? How much they they know about Harvey Weinstein and what he has been accused of trying to varying degree but I think large number of prospective jurors who've come in and have indicated that they're familiar with either him mother person refer somewhat about his case? Obviously there is the greedy shins. And there's some in perspective jurors that say you know. I actually read William Fair books so I feel like I'm bit too familiar with this case therefore I can't be impartial fair And other people might be saying you know I. I've heard about him but I think I can put that aside. And just consider what's being presented as evidence etc testimony Cetera if I were to be selected for jury Ronan Farrow is the author of catch and kill any wrote about Harvey Weinstein in the New Yorker. It sounds like one juror already. Freddie has been held in potential contempt of court over tweeting about the case. What does the judge said about the way the jurors I guess lawyer should be behaving in terms of what they're saying outside of court? Yes that actually happened just this morning. They had called back in. A inspector would sending some tweets that he shouldn't have been And so he's going to have to come back in March after the trial should be all that got to essentially make his case why he shouldn't be held in contempt. I mean I I think even on the first day though when it comes to public comments about the trial or how people should be talking about it You know the judge told the defense you know don't Discouraging towards the witnesses. Don't talk about then if you're giving interviews You know to the jurors. Don't don't talk about the case if you're still perspective or don't talk about this case with family or friends don't text Oh tweet about it etcetera and then also for journalists we have to very careful about You know talking hallways and things. He's like that. We need to make sure that we do not in any way interact with jurors in a way that could put anything like that. We're talking with Jay. Claire Chan from the rap about jury selection in the Harvey Weinstein trial in New York. She's joining us from New York City courtroom hallway. Weinstein's defense team has requested a change in venue. which which I believe the judge has denied what is their argument in terms of why the jury pool in Manhattan may not be impartial to Harvey Weinstein? I think I think it goes back to again. The idea of you know this is a very high profile case And getting that one you know was a prominent person in New York. They're comparing to that. You know it's almost impossible to avoid news of Weinstein here in Manhattan And then also in recent motions they requested then you change multiple times but more recent motions. These awful pointed to a couple of protests that have happened on some of the days of the trial as more examples of you know clearly clearly. This is something that people are talking about. It's unavoidable etcetera things like that but you know the judge has denied their requests in his reasoning. Sort of been when you know because this is a national or international story. There is no place you could go where people would not be likely to have heard him. Sometimes in questions lawyers as potential jurors sometimes emotions they file with the court. You get a glimpse of potential prosecution and defense strategies. He's as any that. Come out so far through jury selection about how this case might be tried to the trial really hinges on the accounts of two women who've come report to accuse teen. Obviously the defense will be very focused on rigorous craft damnation to go cold in these women's stories or to somehow demonstrate teacher that the relationships were consensual or that the alleged victim you know maintaining relationships with Weinstein and the prosecution on the other hand will be demonstrating a pattern of behavior that once you may or may not have engaged in And really focusing on using the the two minutes testimonies along with his to bolster day cases essentially. We're talking to on Thursday Monday. As a holiday. A hundreds of potential jurors are being interviewed. Is it really likely there will be a jury impaneled by the end of next week and that we actually might hear opening statements by unexploited. Actually I do think so. I think we are actually Schedule I'm the December tourneys. We talked to them. I WANNA say yesterday or day before and they were also pretty confident that we would be schedule mean with he this morning session just wrapped up already. Fighters have been selected. So there's still a couple more days if you do this and I. I do think by next Wednesday over here. Opening statements. J. Clara San is a media and politics reporter for the rap. She's covering the Harvey Weinstein trial in New York work and she joined us from a hallway outside the courtroom Clara. Thanks so much for coming on the show"