Maxwell’s Legal Team Appeals for Freedom, Citing Epstein’s Plea Agreement

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Ghislane Maxwell is the infamous partner of the late Jeffrey Epstein. She was convicted of several charges, including human trafficking, but her lawyers are seeking to roll that conviction back. They claim she’s covered under the plea deal the government made with Epstein. Let’s see if she’s right.

Asking For The Appeals Court to Overturn the Conviction

On Tuesday afternoon, lawyers for Ghislane Maxwell urged the Federal Appeals Court to overturn the conviction and send Maxwell home because of a plea deal made with Epstein.

Source: Flickr/Christian Schirner

Lawyers contend that the plea deal covers both Maxwell and Epstein and that jailing Maxwell would be counter to the spirit of Epstein’s deal with the state.

A Controversial Agreement At the Heart of the Case

In 2007, Epstein struck a deal with Alexander Acosta, then US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. The deal ensured that neither he nor his associates could be prosecuted for his crimes.

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For his conviction of trafficking underaged girls for sex, Epstein was given a slap on the wrist and allowed to serve a short stint in Palm Beach County Jail for prostitution and solicitation.

A Conviction A Long Time Coming

In 2021, Maxwell was convicted of five counts of sex trafficking, with prosecutors alleging she groomed girls to have sex with Epstein and even abused some of them herself.

Source: Flickr/Sterling G

Maxwell’s lawyers argue that the charges are covered under Epstein’s 2007 plea deal and that locking her up for these charges goes against the deal altogether.

Almost No Conviction

Jurors are not supposed to have any history that makes them unbiased in a case, but one of the jurors in the Maxwell case stated to the press that he suffered from sexual abuse as a child.

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His failure to disclose this information would have made the jury’s verdict null and void. The judge let the guilty verdict stand after looking at the facts of the case and talking to the juror directly.

A Dagger In The Hands of the State

While the plea deal was made with a dead man who may no longer hold any sway, the lawyers argue that bad-faith arguments where the state turns its back on its agreements are bad form.

Source: Flickr/Dagny Gromer

They argue that it’s like “a dagger in the hearts of trust” between the government and its citizens and allude that it could make it more challenging to get others to take a plea deal in the future.

Weaponizing Her Status

Judge Alison Nathan, who oversaw Maxwell’s court proceedings, sentenced her to 20 years in prison and a $750,000 fine for her behavior. She was harsh in her sentencing remarks.

Source: Newsnation

Judge Nathan noted that Maxwell weaponized her status to build relationships of trust, which she then exploited for her own and Epstein’s sexual benefit. Her behavior is unacceptable.

Potential To Derail Justice

If the Appeals Court agrees with Maxwell’s lawyers, she could be released from serving her sentence, and a new trial would have to be scheduled to prosecute the charges unrelated to the 2007 deal.

Source: Flickr/Don Shall

However, it would also mean that all the women who testified against Epstein in court would have to retake the stand to testify against Maxwell. The impact on their mental state could be severe.

The Wording of the Deal Is Broad

According to the deal, the contract states that “the United States” is banned from prosecuting Epstein and co-conspirators. As Maxwell is one of those, this could cause the ruling to be thrown out.

Source: Flickr/Erica Fischer

The final assessment is based on the justices of the Appeals Court. If they see “the United States” to mean all of the nation’s courts, they would have to rule in favor of Maxwell.

Previous Ruling Might Come Into Question

Nathan had previously consulted the deal and ruled that “the United States” only applied to the courts of the US District of Southern Florida, and as such, Maxwell could still be prosecuted.

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Nathan noted that using terms like “the United States” is a typical shorthand to refer to the particular area concerned with the offense, not the entire court system of the nation.

No Record of Unlimited Nationwide Protection

Acosta, who was responsible for brokering the deal, spent months back and forth with Epstein hashing out the details-emails and correspondence between the two formed part of the case.

Source: Flickr/Global Panorama

Yet in all that correspondence, Epstein and his co-conspirators were not given nationwide protection. Maxwell’s lawyers contend that Nathan read the deal too narrowly.

The Spirit Of The Deal

Maxwell’s lawyers state that Epstein’s goal in navigating the Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA) was to ensure that he and his co-conspirators were covered no matter where in the country they were.

Source: Flickr/Flazingo Photos

Yet this statement shows a lack of appreciation for individual states. Each state has its own legal code, and being forced to abide by an agreement signed by an attorney from another state seems like an overreach.

A History Of Shady Behavior

Maxwell and Epstein’s behavior isn’t unknown, and investigations revealed that many high-profile individuals were linked to the pair, even though many deny knowing about their illicit actions.

Source: Flickr/Jes

Several young women have come out stating they were abused by Epstein, Maxwell, or both at the same time. The lawyers are not arguing Maxwell’s guilt but rather the trial itself.

Asking For Leniency

Maxwell’s lawyers contend that she was sentenced for far too long and was asked to pay too much of a fine for the offenses she was found guilty of. They claim it’s an abuse of power.

Source: Flickr/Karen Neoh

Judge Nathan ruled as she saw fit, but the lawyers wanted a retrial based on the idea that Judge Nathan ruled against her because of the high-profile nature of the case itself.

Will Ghislane Maxwell Walk Free?

It’s too early to tell what the Appeals Court will say about the lawyers’ motion. One of Maxwell’s lawyers hoped they wouldn’t be intimidated by the case’s high profile.

Source: Flickr/Polly Allen

Epstein’s agreement and its interpretation comes down to lawyers and judges. Epstein would have faced similar prosecution, but he was found dead in his cell hours after he was arrested.

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Sally Reed

Written by Sally Reed

Sally, a dynamic and viral writer, has taken the literary world by storm with her exceptional storytelling prowess. With an uncanny ability to tap into the collective consciousness of her readers, she crafts narratives that resonate deeply and linger long after the last word is read.

Born with a creative spirit, Sally honed her writing skills from a young age, cultivating a unique voice that blends emotion, wit, and social insight. Her work spans a wide spectrum, from poignant short stories that tug at the heartstrings to thought-provoking essays that challenge conventional thinking.

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