Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in jail

This just happened, and, given the fact that Weinstein could have received as little as five years (or as many as 25), the judge clearly felt that Weinstein’s crimes merited a stiff sentence. I can’t say I disagree.

Since Weinstein is 67, this means he’ll die in jail, and that’s not even counting the upcoming trial in Los Angeles.

It’s heartening for many of us who, while agreeing that Weinstein had the right to a vigorous defense (that included Ronald Sullivan of Harvard, who lost his house mastership over representing Weinstein), also know that when the evidence is convincing, even the best lawyers can’t get you off. And even someone as rich and powerful at Weinstein, must, in the end, become a common criminal, living in a bare cell in an orange suit.

I think a stiff sentence was a necessary deterrent here. There’s no possibility of reformation, as the man won’t get out of prison, and he seems to show no repentance even now:

For his part, Mr. Weinstein suggested in a rambling speech to the court that he thought his relationships with his victims were consensual and he was “totally confused” by what had happened to him.

“We may have different truths, but I have remorse for all of you and for all the men going through this crisis,” he said, addressing his accusers.

He added: “I really feel remorse for this situation. I feel it deeply in my heart. I’m really trying, I’m really trying to be a better person.”

But that’s weird since if he really believed the relationships were consensual, why does he need to try to become a “better person”?

And he’s been removed from society, so he can no longer prey on women subject to his power.

So be it. People will forget about him soon, but perhaps potential predators will remember.

27 Comments

  1. Posted March 11, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    “this means he’ll die in jail” – in the UK I think sentences are rarely completed – usually 1/2 or 2/3 & then released depending on the crime.

    Does this mean all US sentences are not subject to review? I mean I would not expect an 80 year old Weinstein to be a threat to women, but supporting prisoners in prison is expensive.

    What do you all think?

    Can or will his victims now have claims on his wealth?

    • Posted March 11, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      He will get dome time off for good behavior, and will be eligible to apply parole well before the twenty give years is up. That one half to two thirds figure you mentioned is about right in the US also.

      In order to get part of his assets his victims will have to file and win a suit in civil court.

    • Posted March 11, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget the case in California, which, if he’s convicted, will add SUBSTANTIAL time to his sentence. I suspect he’ll never see freedom again.

  2. Posted March 11, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I am sorry to say it, but I couldn´t be happier.

  3. Posted March 11, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Good riddance! So what happens to his similar case in California?

    • Charles A Sawicki
      Posted March 11, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      It never hurts to pile on convictions for people who can afford the best lawyers.

  4. Jeff J
    Posted March 11, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m delighted – and a little bit relieved – that someone with his wealth and power actually got this heavy a sentence.

    “People will forget about him soon…”

    Uh… I bet there are people out there who will scour the internet in perpetuity for anyone who praises any of his film titles, just itching to cancel the offender.

    • Posted March 11, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Weinstein was involved with a lot of productions. I certainly hope that his behavior doesn’t reflect on actors and directors of those works. That would be totally unfair. Some of the actors were his victims, after all.

  5. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted March 11, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    This is great! An outcome that shows the rich and powerful that they can’t always avoid justice as they too often have in the past.

  6. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted March 11, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    “And even someone as rich and powerful at Weinstein, must, in the end, become a common criminal, living in a bare cell in an orange suit.”

    I hope he gets a bare cell, but the wealthy often end up in fairly cushy relaxed prisons.

  7. Posted March 11, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I hope he only does like 5 years

  8. Posted March 11, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I am satisfied with this outcome. Perhaps his conditions will be in isolation at first. Bill Cosby has more recently been moved from isolation to the general population, but conditions there don’t seem that bad. Not sure if he is with other violent offenders. See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/arts/television/bill-cosby-prison.html

    I am fine with Cosby’s situation, and perhaps Weinstein will have similar. Wishing for worse conditions is the old Puritan in me, and I need to be better than that.

  9. rickflick
    Posted March 11, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    This is a big part of what morality is – crime and punishment, not Gods edict from 3000 BCE. So, I think I can feel justified in feeling glad about it. We’ve come a long way, but you have to keep at it. From now on people who get out of line will have to be Weinsteined.

  10. Posted March 11, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Good news.

  11. P. Puk
    Posted March 11, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    But that’s weird since if he really believed the relationships were consensual, why does he need to try to become a “better person”?
    Because in the mind of this megalomaniac film producer, everything short of smashing someone’s face in is “consensual”. He’s obviously a changed man now.

    • ladyatheist
      Posted March 11, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      You can rape someone who you have a relationship with. I don’t know why people think that if there’s a prior relationship the man has the right to rape a woman.

      • Dominic
        Posted March 12, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

        Quite right.

        It is typical of a narcissist to claim victim-hood, as he appears to have done. He has had ample opportunity to change & never did – he used his power to abuse.

  12. Cathy Ross
    Posted March 11, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I think 23 years is too long a sentence. He has not murdered anyone after all. He does deserves to be punished but this sentence seems out of proportion.

    • ladyatheist
      Posted March 11, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      It would be too long for a single offense, but not for a serial offender.

  13. ladyatheist
    Posted March 11, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    It’s a start.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 11, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      In legal circles, there’s the legend of the sentencing judge who, under similar circumstances, was told by the defendant, “Your Honor, I’m 67 and in poor health. I can’t do 23 years!”

      “That’s okay,” said the Judge, “just go do as much of it as you can.”

      • sugould
        Posted March 12, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        +1

  14. Posted March 11, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I don’t believe a word he said. He must have picked up some acting skills along the way.

  15. Gayle C Ferguson
    Posted March 11, 2020 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Who are “all the men going through this crisis”? Did Weinstein rape some men?

  16. KD
    Posted March 12, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    He added: “I really feel remorse for this situation. I feel it deeply in my heart. I’m really trying, I’m really trying to be a better person.”

    But that’s weird since if he really believed the relationships were consensual, why does he need to try to become a “better person”?

    Even more startling is the excessive need for adverbs when you “really, deeply, really” feel the call for change in your heart.

    • rickflick
      Posted March 12, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      To me it sounds like dissembling. Probably his lawyers told him to be sure to express remorse, and contrition. It might be worth 5 or 10 years off your sentence. However I think while he’s been pacing around his holding cell for the past months, he’s convinced himself of the delusion that he is really, really, innocent.


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