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Questions Abound As Jury Enters Deliberations On Weinstein Trial

Gettyimages | Stephanie Keith
By Kasey Williams

With six weeks of testimony in the bag, the jury began its deliberations on Tuesday in the first big landmark case of the #MeToo era, a case against its first big casualty: Harvey Weinstein.

The jury, which consists of five women and seven men, heard several weeks of powerful testimony, particularly from that of the accusers, Jessica Mann and Miriam Haley.

Despite the emotional hearing and the public nature of the case, has the prosecution laid out a convincing case that could put the disgraced mogul away for life?

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Gettyimages | JOHANNES EISELE

That appears the be the question on everyone's mind as the New York jury began discussing the case amongst themselves on Tuesday.

Since the highly-publicized case began on Jan. 6, as many as six women have been called to testify against Weinstein to establish a predatory narrative behind his behavior, which often saw the former indie producer use his power and connections within the film industry to gain trust in unsuspecting women.

The accusers, Haley and Mann, have accused Weinstein of rape and sexual assault.

Gettyimages | TIMOTHY A. CLARY

“You and you alone are the judges of the facts, and you and you alone are responsible for deciding if the defendant is guilty or not guilty,” Justice James Burke told jurors on Tuesday.

Burke continued to remind the jury that the prosecution much prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that Weinstein is guilty of the alleged crimes.

“The law does not require people to prove guilt beyond all possible reasonable doubt,” he said. “Reasonable doubt is an honest doubt. It is an actual doubt, not an imaginary doubt. You should be guided by full and fair evidence.”

Gettyimages | TIMOTHY A. CLARY

Weinstein's attorneys have attempted to get Burke removed from the case, claiming bias.

Mann, a former actress, has accused Weinstein of rape in a New York City hotel room in 2013, while Haley, a former Project Runway production assistant, accused Weinstein of forcibly performing oral sex on her in a New York City apartment in 2006.

Burke also allowed three other women to testify in order for the prosecution to produce a "prior bad acts" theme that Weinstein has displayed a pattern of predatory behavior.

Gettyimages | John Lamparski

“Your verdict on each count you consider much be unanimous,” Burke said. “To reach a unanimous decision, you must discuss with each other and reason together respectfully.”

Donna Rotunno has said that these women should be held accountable for their own actions, as her team attempted to establish the idea that these women engaged or aspired to engage in a consensual relationship with Weinstein for their own personal benefit.

If convicted of all five charges against him, the maximum sentence could be life in prison.

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