R. Kelly and his legal team are already facing hurdles as the singer’s trial in Chicago makes headway.
U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber, who is presiding over the case, is allowing jurors who’ve watched the damning 2018 documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” into the courtroom.
Leinenweber argued the documentary came out several years ago “and that it wouldn’t make sense to prohibit someone from serving if they’d seen only part of the series,” NBC News detailed.
Even still, in Kelly’s favor, the outlet outlined only nine people indicated they’d watched at least some of Surviving R. Kelly in their juror questionnaires.
Comparatively, 70 potential jurors indicated they had not.
The Legal Team’s Request Ahead Of The Chicago Trial
Leinenweber’s decision followed a request from Kelly’s legal team to ban any potential jurors who’ve seen the Lifetime docuseries.
“Any potential juror who has watched any portion of this docuseries must be disqualified for cause on whether they can be fair,” argued Kelly’s attorneys in court documents obtained by TMZ. “Too great a risk exists that such a juror would base their verdict on matters not introduced into evidence in the courtroom.”
“Any potential juror who has seen any portion of Surviving R. Kelly is prejudiced where there’s no scenario which an individual exposed to the contents of Surviving R. Kelly can be impartial,” the disgraced singer’s camp added.
R. Kelly is currently facing charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice.
Leinenweber’s ruling in favor of allowing jurors who’ve watched Surviving R. Kelly fell on Aug. 15, the first day of the Chicago trial’s jury selection.
The latest trial comes less than two months after Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison for racketeering, bribery, sexual exploitation of a child and violating the Mann Act.
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