Jury Foreman Shocked, Angry Weinstein Conviction Was Tossed

The Daily Beast/Courtesy of Bernard Cody
The Daily Beast/Courtesy of Bernard Cody

The court decision overturning Harvey Weinstein’s New York rape conviction came as a shock to victims, activists—and the man who was the foreman of the jury that found him guilty.

“This decision is so unfair to the women that were hurt by [Weinstein],” Bernard Cody told The Daily Beast on Friday. “When our conviction happened, the women were so relieved it was over. And so were we. To take that away is awful.”

Cody and his fellow jurors deliberated five days, reviewing four weeks worth of testimony and evidence, before finding Weinstein guilty in 2020. The former producer was then sentenced to 23 years for sexually assaulting former Project Runway production assistant Miriam Haleyi and raping former actress Jessica Mann.

But in a 4-3 decision Thursday, the New York Court of Appeals tossed the verdict and ordered a new trial, finding the judge improperly allowed testimony from accusers beyond the victims in the case.

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“I heard about the decision at work. My coworker came over to me and said, ‘There is breaking news with your friend.’ And I was like ‘What friend?’ And then I saw it was news of Harvey’s conviction that I was a part of,” Cody said.

“I was shocked. What is going on with the world?” he added.

Cody said he served as the jury foreperson because he was the first person picked for the panel of five women and seven men. He previously told The Daily Beast that the trial was surreal and “difficult to go through” because jurors understood they “were part of something that was such a big moment in history.”

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He took detailed notes to ensure he understood the full scope of the evidence. That attention to detail, however, meant he could not sleep some nights because of the harrowing testimony from six women.

The jury struggled on the most serious charge against Weinstein, predatory sexual assault. At one point, they told Judge James Burke they were in a deadlock—and were told to come back after the weekend to try to reach a unanimous decision.

“When we came back that Monday, we went through the evidence one last time and we came to a decision for a verdict,” he said. “It took us a long time to get to that decision.”

Cody said that despite the upsetting news that the conviction was overturned, he finds some solace in the knowledge that Weinstein won’t be free anytime soon. In 2022, the disgraced Hollywood producer was also convicted in Los Angeles of similar charges and got a 16-year prison sentence.

“If we convicted him here in New York, and Los Angeles convicted him in Los Angeles… it’s obvious there is some truth to these allegations somewhere,” Cody said, adding that he was proud to be on the jury.

As the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office plans for a retrial, Cody urged the prosecutors to think about the women involved.

“If they know they have another good case, I think they should retry his case. If they think things are iffy now, don’t do it,” Cody said. “These women have been through enough.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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