Could the Maxwell Conviction Be Thrown Out Over Juror Misconduct?

Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction has been widely celebrated as bringing some justice to the victims of Jeffrey Epstein. However, that moment may prove fleeting in light of a startling disclosure made by one of the jurors to Reuters this week. A juror identified only by his first two names (“Scotty David”) admitted that he was able to sway fellow jurors by discussing his own experience with abuse. It is not clear if he disclosed that prior abuse on the juror questionnaire as part of the voir dire process. The disclosure could give Maxwell a strong argument for reversal if the prior abuse was not revealed and was then used in the jury room to pursue the jury after it deadlocked in its proceedings. Update: Both defense counsel and the government are now calling for a formal inquiry into the allegations on this juror.

David, 35, told the Independent that the room went silent when he disclosed his past abuse. What is most concerning is that he seemed to suggest that his account was used to overcome the problem that jurors had with the failure of the victims to recall key facts in their testimony.  He also reportedly used his own experience to explain the delay in the victims disclosing their abuse.

He is quoted by Reuters as saying that “when I shared that, they were able to sort of come around on, they were able to come around on the memory aspect of the sexual abuse.”

That is troubling in itself. That is precisely why such past experiences are the subject of intense review during voir dire. The 230 prospective jurors were given questionnaires asking, among other things, if they or anyone in their families had experienced sexual abuse.

David could not remember if he answered affirmatively to that question and said that he “flew through” the questionnaire.

We have previously discussed major juror misconduct questions in high-profile cases like the prosecutions of Roger Stone and Derek Chauvin. The First Circuit recently overturned the sentence of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev due to juror bias.  Nevertheless, I have been critical of judges who turn a blind eye to juror bias, including false answers on jury forms.

This would be exceptionally serious if a juror failed to disclose prior abuse and then used that prior abuse to influence jury deliberations. The Supreme Court has repeatedly declared that the “minimal standards of due process” demand “a panel of impartial, indifferent jurors.” I expect we will learn soon if the juror failed to disclose such abuse but it would be odd, if he did, that the defense did not question him about it.

67 thoughts on “Could the Maxwell Conviction Be Thrown Out Over Juror Misconduct?”

  1. Ms Maxwell has already made a deal. The deal is not to incriminate any A list big shots. She gets off on a technicality.

              1. JS:

                Sure. Though it varies by state. Stand Your Ground refers to an abrogation of a debatable aspect of the common law requiring a victim of battery or assault to retreat, if possible to do safely. The thinking was it was better to avoid a fight than have one. It didn’t apply to assaults on your curtilage as “your home was your castle” (Castle Doctrine). Also if the force employed wasn’t equal you couldn’t employ it even if you couldn’t retreat. That is to say, you couldn’t defend yourself with a cannon if met with a bare fist.

                1. My understanding is that the policemen in this case has no duty to retreat. Why do you think so? I thought when it comes to one’s castle you are entitled to use deadly force if someone is breaking into one’s home. Would special laws perhaps apply to officers protecting the inner sanctum? Could Congress have granted these officers a license to kill when the cordon is breached?

                  1. JS:

                    That’s why it doesn’t apply. Cops have affirmative duites to enforce the law and no duty to retreat. Stand your ground thus never really applies to them as they have discretion to use reasonable and proportional force to effect an arrest and may employ deadly force if met with the same. In the case of Babbit, there was no deadly force employed against the officer so arguably his use of a firearm was disproportionate compared to the threat encountered in enforcing the law. That’s why i said what I did. Stand your ground doesn’t comeup in the typical arrest scenario since the cops have police power to enforce the law whereas you and I don’t have that kind of authority or duty in most situations. Stand your Ground is related but not applicable in the context of a police encounter but the more applicable doctrine is one of reasonable versus excessive force.

                    1. JS:

                      As for Congress, it is bound by the Constitution and can’t take life without due process of law so no it couldn’t pass an arbitrary law making the inner sanctum a no-go zone under penalty of death and still survive constitutional muster. Only in the military context do courts relax the rules to permit a no-go zone for trespassers for obvious compelling interests like national security.

                      Really good questions!

  2. Well, I guess I was right: crickets from Turley about the front page scandal at his Fox News concerning Hannity’s incriminating text messages to Trump. I imagine many of you Trumpists have not heard about since it is being ignored by Fox News. So, here it is:

    “JANUARY 6th COMMITTEE SEEKS COOPERATION FROM FOX NEWS’ HANNITY AND RELEASES TEXTS BETWEEN HOST AND WHITE HOUSE.”

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/04/politics/january-6-committee-sean-hannity/index.html

    On January 10, 2021, Hannity sent to Meadows and Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan the following text:

    “Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days. He can’t mention the election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what is left to do or say, and I don’t like not knowing if it’s truly understood. Ideas?”

    Finally, it is revealed that Hannity KNEW that the election was NOT stolen. So much so that he begged Trump to NEVER mention that falsehood again! And yet, he confesses that he is unsure whether he has gotten through to Trump and laments that he does not know how to get through to him nor whether he has succeeded! It is striking to see Hannity’s attitude in PRIVATE versus his PUBLIC commentary!

    Hannity has been an adviser to Trump! Talk about your *advocacy journalism* which Turley never fails to decry when practiced by Fox’s media competitors. Will Turley address the Free Speech implications of asking a broadcaster to provide testimony before a Congressional committee?

    Or will Turley pretend this controversy does not exist and avoid mentioning it altogether? How can Turley be taken seriously if he avoids addressing a scandal which reflect poorly on one of his Fox colleagues?

    1. The committee has already been caught editing text messages. Schiff will break every law he has to, to keep power.
      But you know the committee is lying, and you ask for more.

      1. You avoid the evidence in Hannity’s text right before your very eyes. You just will not accept what you don’t want to know- the election was NOT stolen. Even Hannity knew it!

        Face it….

        1. Are you too dumb to realize that Hannity didn’t say anything of the kind in the email we saw on this blog?

          Are you lying or dumb. It doesn’t make a difference. Either one makes you a person not to be listened to.

    2. Is that you Pasaki?.Did I miss something? Was Trump cited in this article?
      Thought whataboutism was over on 1/20/21.🤔

      1. If Turley won’t bring up the scandal at Fox News, I must. How often has Turley criticized MSNBC and CNN for ignoring the Hunter Biden laptop scandal? Several times. He was correct in doing so. Now, the shoe is on the other foot.

        Turley has criticized Hannity in the past for appearing on stage with Trump at a political rally and, in so doing, crossing the line between reporting and political advocacy:

        https://jonathanturley.org/2018/11/06/covering-or-campaigning-fox-news-anchors-appear-with-trump-at-missouri-rally/

        It is now clear that Hannity has done it again. Remember that Chris Cuomo was fired by CNN for secretly advising his brother.

        How can Turley in good conscience ignore denouncing Hannity for saying one thing in private and saying the opposite in public?

    3. Of course, the election was stolen. Everybody knows it. Even the democrats. They just lie about it. And the democrats’ BS claims of “insurrection” are just that: BS. So, when you put the complete picture together, the democrats stand for three things: tyranny, BS, and lies. And for your “edification, JS, as a hater of facts, here’s a little video where Biden explains exactly what would happen with a quick, unplanned, and uncoordinated withdrawal from Afghanistan. And then, when Biden actually had the power to execute the withdrawal, he knowingly chose the path most damaging and destructive to Americans and most beneficial to America’s enemies. https://rumble.com/vovhpv-resurfaced-video-comes-back-to-haunt-biden.html Okay, JS, this concludes your brief interlude into reality. As a long standing pragmaphobic, this video was surely painful for you to watch and hear. You may now return to your natural comfort zone: BS and lies.

      1. Feldman says:

        “Of course, the election was stolen. Everybody knows it. Even the democrats. They just lie about it. And the democrats’ BS claims of “insurrection” are just that: BS. “

        I agree that calling the 1/6 riot an “insurrection” is inappropriate.

        However, Turley has NEVER stated that he thinks the election was stolen. I defy you to search his articles to produce one article in which he said so. The election was not stolen; you are a lying Trumpist. Fox News, Newsmax and One America Network are being sued for billions for defamation in promoting the Big Lie. Trump’s lawyers have been sanctioned by Federal courts for alleging the Big Lie in court, and their law licenses are under threat.

        Turley has never expressed his disapproval of any of these consequences arising out of the Big Lie. He has not complained about Trump’s lawyers being sanctioned by the courts nor facing disciplinary hearings. He has not criticized the defamation lawsuits brought by Smartmatic and Dominion. Turley does not share your belief that the election was stolen; otherwise, he would have said so.

        Stupid is no way to go through life, my friend.

        1. I don’t care what JT says about Trump or the stolen election. He knows nothing about the stolen election, just as you know nothing. You’re programmed not to investigate yourself and rely on the presstitutes for your daily dose of lies and BS. As for stupidity and ignorance, you do what all democrats do: projection. FYI, projections is the process whereby one subject believes they see attributes (both good and bad) in another. It’s a defense mechanism whereby unenviable or unpleasant traits, impulses or ideas are attributed to another. In this way, the projector is able to avoid the unpleasantness in themselves. Time to go back to study your daily “bible,” the Steele Dossier, for further guidance and inspiration.

          1. Feldman says:

            “I don’t care what JT says about Trump or the stolen election.”

            I’m glad you realize that both Turley and I are Never Trumpers.

            1. I don’t think Turley is a never Trumper. Not wishing to vote for Trump is not the common understanding of what a Never Trumper is. But it seems you get most things wrong, so we can add this to the list.

              1. Anonymous says:

                “I don’t think Turley is a never Trumper”

                On this anniversary of 1/6, you should be reminded what Turley said on 1/11/21:

                “Many of us have denounced Trump’s speech as reckless and wrong. Indeed, I was tweeting my objections to the speech as it was being given. Moreover, I opposed the congressional challenges to the electoral votes from the outset, rejected Trump’s claim that the electoral votes could be “sent back,” and praised Vice President Pence for defying Trump. Yet, none of this is license for Congress to rampage through the Constitution with the same abandon as last week’s rioters did in the Capitol.

                “I testified against the first Trump impeachment — and I stand by that testimony today. I believe, however, that he warrants congressional condemnation, and that a censure resolution could help repair some of the damage that he has caused in this national tragedy.

                “Such a joint statement of condemnation by the two houses could be based on three grounds.

                First, Trump — as well as his son, Donald Jr., and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani — whipped the Jan. 6 crowd into a frenzy before the rioting in the Capitol. While Trump’s speech would not constitute criminal incitement, it was inciteful and unpresidential. Before that, on Twitter, he called thousands to the city for a “wild time,” and then worked some into a frothing mob.

                “Second, Trump repeated clearly false statements about the constitutional process and made the unconscionable demand that Pence should usurp that process by “sending back” electoral votes. As many of us said repeatedly for weeks, Pence had no such authority and could not unilaterally act as Trump demanded. Yet, Trump continued to tell his followers that such authority existed — leading many of them to launch a hashtag campaign to “#hangmikepence.”

                “Third, Trump was conspicuously silent as this riot engulfed the Congress. It was not until the next day that he clearly denounced all of the violence and called for the prosecution of those responsible. On the day in question, he gave a widely ridiculed statement thanking his supporters and saying he understood their anger. It may not have been criminal incitement — but it was an outrageous failure to denounce the violence, immediately and unequivocally.

                “Censure is not a substitute for impeachment. It is not even mentioned in the Constitution. However, it would serve a greater purpose in this instance: It would allow both parties to speak as one in condemnation of the actions — and the omissions — of the president. It would be a unifying act that allows us to state our expectations of a president, a statement made all the more important with the approaching inauguration of a new president.”

                Sounds like a Never Trumper to me.

                1. As most already recognize, you don’t know what you are talking about. Nothing there makes Turley a never Trumper. Ignorance is what you spew on the blog. All you are proving is that some lawyers never make it out of the dumb category.

  3. Why isn’t Epstein and Maxwell’s employer, Mossad, ever mentioned? Shouldn’t they be on trial as well?

  4. It doesn’t really matter. The FBI now has the client list that, not surprisingly, will reveal itself as the names become some of the most ardent fans of the FBI over the next 5-10 years.

  5. It is my belief that the only testimony that can be considered is that which was introduced during the trial. This is why juries are instructed to avoid reading about or talking about the case being tried.

    An individual juror’s experience, no matter how relevant, is anecdotal at best and, having not been introduced by counsel during the trial, cannot be introduced by one juror to the rest of the jury during considerations.

    1. An individual juror’s experience, no matter how relevant, is anecdotal at best and, having not been introduced by counsel during the trial, cannot be introduced by one juror to the rest of the jury during considerations.

      Ray,
      Apparently it can be introduced, as it was introduced. As you pointed out, the jury would be instructed to not consider it, along with any other information that was not introduced at trial, to reach their verdict. The question is; did this juror’s revelation have any impact on how they decided to vote?

  6. Obviously the jury system is founded in real people with real lives and experiences weighing factual evidence and applying the law.

    A key question for me would be, did the jury hear expert testimony from the prosecution about memory phenomenona in sexual abuse victims? If so, then the citing of personal experience would just be reinforcing that evidence, i.e. putting a human face on it.

    I’m also sympathetic to personal privacy in sexual matters…. a juror questionnaire that goes too far into personal private matters deserves to be left blank.

    1. I’m gonna take a wild guess that the “court appointed” “jury system” in the Jeffrey Epstein prison “case” was “founded in real people with real lives” like the only-too-real, big, strong, cell block mates he encountered some time in the wee small early morning hours, which security cameras failed to record for some odd, indeterminate reason, and, apparently, the only “expert testimony” that jury heard was comprised of the orders from the Deep Deep State operators giving them “direction.”

    2. That’s not how it works in jury selection. Prospective jurors do not get leave a blank response on a writing voir dire question, just as they cannot refuse to answer a verbal question during voir dire.

      If the prospective juror is uncomfortable with answering a question because of past experience or experiences, or family members who have had similar experiences, they are always told to inform the Court.

      The Court will take the juror, council for both sides, and the court reporter, into chambers to inquire as to why the prospective juror is uncomfortable with the question.

      If the prospective juror indicates they have been a victim, or family member or members have been victims of the crime the defendant is accused of, or similar crimes, the Court will on its own motion excuse the prospective juror, relieving either the prosecution or the defense from having to utilize one of their limited peremptory challenges.

      That a question on voir dire is uncomfortable or delves into sensitive matters, is not a reason to refuse to answer the question if it may go to the bias or inability of the prospective juror to be fair and impartial.

    3. He had no problem bringing it up during the deliberations, and then publicizing it in the media! He just conveniently left it off the jury questionnaire. Do you people read your own comments?

  7. If you own the judicial branch, you own the country.

    I wonder how expensive that is.

    If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it.

    1. never ever forget the supreme court’s ruling of ‘no standing’. there’s no getting around that. not then. not now. not ever.

  8. D.B @3:03pm

    Exactly, thank you. Maxwell was doing her job. The underage girls were the honey in the blackmail trap. Any other view is profoundly, if not willfully, naive!

  9. I’ve sometimes wondered if Ghislaine herself ever suffered abuse or grooming. She was an adult when she met Epstein. How did he work upon her? Was she sexually abused in her past? I would think a healthy person does not provide new women for her “boyfriend” to sleep with. She doesn’t recruit young, or sometimes underage girls, to service her boyfriend and his friends. It seems like an example of generational trauma victims becoming abusers. Kids grow up in violent homes, and become violent abusers of their own children, and so on. All of these people seem twisted up.

    So often, groomed, trafficked, and used women recruit their friends and other girls to be trafficked, or at least used.

    1. I was reading about her family last night. The only thing that pointed possibly to what you are saying is that her father had beaten her when she was young. He was a tyrant in his own right and apparently people who knew both him and Epstein felt she was attracted to what they referred to as “strong men.” On the other hand, she was the youngest and apparently the apple of her father’s eye. Very hard to tell and if she ends up in prison it would be smart to see that she gets serious therapy. Not sure if that happens these days.

      All of her siblings have gone on and done well in good part because like Ghislaine, they were extremely well educated. It does look a bit to me as if she enjoyed the high social life where her brothers and sisters did not. Epstein floated the money for all of that to happen for her. Bought her a NYC brownstone and cars. Was using her social credentials to move in closer to people who probably wouldn’t have paid all that kind of attention to him if he was on his own.

    2. Her father was a high ranking Mossad agent and this while Lolita Island thing was a Mossad honeytrap.

  10. Well, she is either going to meet the same end as Epstein, or get out of jail and go into hiding. Too many high profile people involved.

  11. It is questions of this nature that a blogger on this list doesn’t seem to understand. Yet, he is an attorney, and we can see how professor Turley if reacting to Jeff Silverman’s rhetoric, would tear this poorly trained attorney apart.

  12. So if that juror had life experience to support the expert testimony of how grooming works in practice he cannot bring it up?
    If I have expertise in, say, computer graphics, I couldn’t bring that expertise to the other jurors regarding a computer issue?
    No juror can use their life experiences to judge the accuracy of expert testimony?
    No juror can use their life experiences to evaluate the facts?
    That doesn’t seem quite right to me.

    1. The issue is not his experience with sexual abuse, but his failure to disclose it on voir dire. Had he done so, the prosecution would have probably excused this prospective juror with one of their peremptory challenges. By not disclosing it, if that is the case, the prosecution was denied the opportunity to do so during voir dire.

      1. I imagine the court clerk has all of those sheets filled out by the jurors. And I believe he said another person on that jury also had been abused so there are two sets of forms that need looking at. However, it’s possible that the defense had used up the numbers they could toss though I would have thought they might have been disqualified though I agree that people on a jury cannot help but bring their personal baggage with them.. Some very fine lines when you use a form to weed out what could become problems.

        Jurors though are allowed to speak after they have completed jury duty so not sure that is an issue.

        1. General Flynn didn’t have a jury because the case never went to trial. He plead guilty because he was broke from attorney fees and the Feds were threatening to charge his son.

    2. It has to be disclosed. Your past can cause you to not be evenhanded in how you evaluate evidence. Let’s say sometime in the past a person close to me was murdered. There is no way I could sit on a capital murder jury and not have my past, experience, and all the pain associated with it, which has nothing to do with the case at hand, influence my thinking and decision. It is completely unfair to the accused.

      Expertise is for testimony, not for the jury.

      To use your IT example, you would be introducing testimony not presented at trial with no opportunity for either side to either cross examine or to even establish and verify your claim of expertise in the first place.

    3. It strains credulity with the common human, that an “abused” person goes years and years without complaint and denying any abuse and then suddenly gets “woke” and becomes the most piteous victim. So this guy (the juror) decides he’ll “attest” to some overweening psychiatric disorder that supposedly accounts for this absurd contradiction. As such, he was acting as an “expert” witness whom the defendant had no opportunity to cross-examine.

    4. “. . . he cannot bring it up?”

      That’s right. He was not called as a witness (expert or otherwise). As a juror, he is not a wannabe investigator. Nor is he a free-range lawyer, arguing the case as he would have liked it argued.

      A juror has one fundamental responsibility: to weigh the evidence, in light of the law, *as they were presented during the trial.”

      What’s sickening about this case it that it’s an epidemic. People take a solemn oath to do this or that. Then when push comes to shove, they declare: “Screw the oath. I’ll do whatever I feel like doing.”

      1. Thanks for the reply, Sam. That reminds me of a conversation I had with my uncle, a circuit judge. “You don’t go to court for justice, you go for a decision.” So no one in a jury is allowed to explain to the other jurors how they came to their decision. All but one juror agrees to not proven guilty. That juror is not allowed to explain how he came to that conclusion. Were I on a jury and was the one hold out, can I not say I applied Bayesian logic? No expert testimony was presented about the validity of Bayes Theorem nor its applicability to every decision where there are uncertainties. It embodies the logic that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
        Is law a game played by lawyers or a search for what probably happened and what that probability is? “Only on the evidence presented,” and with no life-experience applied. Pretend as if, if it wasn’t presented in court, it didn’t happen.
        May the best lawyer win regardless of the facts. Lady Justice may weep, but the best lawyer won. Some system. Our system.

  13. Yet activist and hostile jurors in Chauvin’s trial and Stone’s trial didn’t raise eyebrows. Some judicial lynchings are okay..

  14. If he lied about such experiences on the form, is he subject to some sort of penalty? Ashamed to note that I don’t readily know

  15. Maxwell deserves an unbiased jury even if she guilty as hell.

    And justice demands that the names of the “johns” be released; they are also predators and currently are escaping with no consequences.

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