Judge Pushes Maxwell Jurors on COVID's 'Astronomical Spike'

Court wants to wrap up before anybody needs to quarantine
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2021 1:42 PM CST
Judge Pushes Maxwell Jurors on COVID's 'Astronomical Spike'
Laura Menninger and Jeffery Pagliuca, defense attorneys for Ghislaine Maxwell, arrive Tuesday at the federal courthouse in New York.   (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

(Newser) – Judge Alison Nathan has been urging the jury in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex trafficking trial to put in more time, suggesting adding a day of deliberations last week and longer hours this week. On Tuesday, she explained that the reason is COVID, Fox News reports. "We now face a high and escalating risk that jurors and trial participants may need to quarantine," Nathan said. "We are simply in a different place regarding the pandemic than we were a week ago." New York City, where the trial is being held, is dealing with an "astronomical spike," she reminded the lawyers.

A lawyer for Maxwell pushed back a bit Monday, saying the judge's urging of jurors "is beginning to sound like urging them to hurry up." Their ongoing requests for transcripts show they're working on it, Laura Menninger said. The judge has told the jury to stay in session until at least 6pm daily, instead of the previous 5pm. Deliberations began Dec. 20, per the Guardian, and skipped two days for the Christmas holiday. The jury indicated Monday that a verdict was not imminent, per the Hill. (Read more Ghislaine Maxwell stories.)

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