(DailyVantage.com) – The Ghislaine Maxwell case has been dragging out for well over a year. Her attorneys have tried multiple avenues to turn the tides in her favor, from claiming it’s sexist to keep her in jail to trying to get her sprung on bail amid claims of ‘torture.’ The courts have blocked all attempts so far — and judges just dealt her case another blow.
Prepping for the Trial: Jury Selection
With the November 4 juror selection date quickly approaching, Maxwell’s lawyers are trying to control the proceedings. In particular, her attorney, Bobbi Sternheim, asked the courts to seal the jury questionnaire, keeping it out of the public eye before sending it to 600 prospective jurors. US District Judge Alison Nathan ruled against this request, along with one to hold closed jury selection hearings.
Sternheim protested the ruling, saying letting people see the questionnaire beforehand gives them an upper hand. They’ll have the opportunity to tailor their answers to increase their chances of selection, and that could violate Maxwell’s Sixth Amendment rights, the right to a fair trial. Additionally, she says open questioning could violate the prospects’ privacy, particularly surrounding questions involving sexual abuse.
According to Judge Nathan, the selection process, known as voir dire, will adhere to current legislation. “These procedures will ensure the First Amendment rights to public access as is necessary and required by law,” she said. Nathan also assured the public she will evaluate the need to question some prospects privately on a case-by-case basis.
The court will allow two press reporters into the courtroom during proceedings and make proceedings viewable via live video feed to a courthouse pressroom and an overflow courtroom.
Authorities arrested Maxwell in 2020 on charges she procured and groomed at least four victims for her sex-offender boyfriend, Jeffrey Epstein. Since her arrest, she has been sitting in jail because authorities deemed her a flight risk, especially based on her access to significant assets.
The courts will administer the juror questionnaire on November 4, 5 and 12. Nathan will personally conduct questioning from November 16-19. From there, they will pare down the list and select 12 primary jurors and several alternates in the event jurors don’t work out.
Maxwell’s case is finally slated to begin on November 29, after being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintains her innocence.
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