Maxwell Trial's Jury Fails to Reach Verdict Again, Likely to Deliberate on New Year's Eve - Report
03:47 GMT 29.12.2021 (Updated: 04:26 GMT 29.12.2021)
The presiding judge reportedly warned that the growing number of Omicron variant cases was putting the "ability to complete this trial at risk". Moreover, none of the jury panel's six men and six women were opposed to sitting an hour longer each day to deliberate, meaning they would conclude at 6 p.m. instead of 5 p.m.
After failing to reach a verdict on the fifth day of deliberations in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged "madam" of the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the jury declared it was still "making progress", the Daily Mail reported
"Our deliberations are moving along and we are making progress", the jury said in a letter to Judge Alison Nathan.
The jurors were allowed to leave at 5 p.m., but Nathan reminded them that they would have to sit every day this week, including weekends, until they reached a decision, including New Year's Eve on Friday. The jury had previously been advised
that they would only be sitting Monday through Wednesday this week.
The decision was made to "avoid a mistrial due to the Omicron variant" of the novel coronavirus.
"We are seeing an astronomical spike in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in New York", the judge argued, adding that "we are facing a high and escalating risk that the jurors or participants may need to quarantine, putting at risk our ability to complete this trial".
Then, Nathan stressed that the jurors must be ready to "continue to deliberate until a verdict is reached". According to the report, the judge earlier offered the jury an extra day to deliberate during the week leading up to Christmas, which they ultimately declined.
Moreover, Nathan reportedly turned down Maxwell's plea to give the jury more instructions on one of the counts connected to transporting accuser "Jane". She remarked that Maxwell's lawyers' plea to clarify the count to the jury was "just wrong".
25 December 2021, 05:07 GMT
The jury finished their first week of deliberations without reaching a decision, forcing the former British socialite to spend Christmas, which is also her 60th birthday, behind bars.
Maxwell, who faces up
to 80 years in jail if convicted, has been held at the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn since her arrest in July 2020, which she has described
as a "hell hole".