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What’s your name? Where do you live? What do you do? What do your children’s children do? In addition to a series of detailed biographical questions like these, the potential jurors in Harvey Weinstein’s criminal trial are also being asked about their experience with sexual abuse and Hollywood.
On page 12 of a 16-page form, jurors are asked, “Have you, a family member or a close friend ever been the victim of physical or sexual abuse, either as a child or adult?” If the answer is yes, they’re asked to explain. The same goes for domestic violence.
It makes sense that defense attorneys and prosecutors would want this information in a sex crimes trial, but it would not be surprising if it’s criticized for being invasive.
The next line of questioning centers on the high-profile nature of the case and the jurors’ previous knowledge of Weinstein. Question 63 asks whether they’ve read or heard about this case in the news and whether that information will prevent them from being impartial. Again, not surprising, and that’s less likely to be controversial.
Jurors are also asked whether they, their family or any of their close friends has worked in the entertainment industry in addition to standard questions about their prior experience with jury service and litigation.
In addition to the primary 12 jurors, a court spokesman tells The Hollywood Reporter that there will be six alternates instead of the usual two to four because high-profile cases are more likely to see jurors be disqualified. (The anticipated length of the trial, six weeks, is also a factor.) To find those 18 people, the court sent out 2,000 extra summonses to wrangle a pool of about 520 people from which to choose. (Only about 27?percent of those summoned for jury duty in New York County actually show up.)
Jury selection is expected to take two weeks. The full questionnaire is posted below.
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