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Northeastern legal scholar says a Harvey Weinstein retrial may not be in the best interest of New York

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FILE - Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Oct. 4 2022. Los Angeles prosecutors say they will not retry Harvey Weinstein on rape and sexual assault charges involving two women. (Etienne Laurent/Pool Photo via AP, File)
image of convict harvey weinstein in courtroom

The New York Court of Appeals overturned convicted rapist and disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 conviction on felony sex crime charges Thursday, paving the way for a new trial. The state’s highest court threw out the conviction, citing improper testimony from witnesses whose assault claims were not linked to the charges. 

“Under our system of justice, the accused has a right to be held to account only for the crime charged and, thus, allegations of prior bad acts may not be admitted against them for the sole purpose of establishing their propensity for criminality,” the court wrote in its 4-3 decision. The Manhattan district attorney’s office said it will retry Weinstein, meaning his accusers may again be called to testify — reopening wounds that became the focus a seminal #MeToo-era case. 

Weinstein, 72, who was convicted in a 2022 California rape case, is serving a 16-year sentence and remains in prison. Should he be retried? The decision is complicated by a number of factors, such as the likelihood of securing a conviction, the purpose it would serve, and whether it would be a good use of government resources, says Daniel Medwed, Northeastern distinguished professor of law and criminal justice.

Read more at Northeastern Global News.

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