Harvey Weinstein’s Conviction Overturned: Exposing the Faults in the System

Recently, the New York State Court of Appeals overturned Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction and ordered a retrial in a 4-3 decision. The court called into question witness testimonies presenting alleged sexual assaults that were never proven in court and not directly related to what he was charged with in the case.

These testimonies played a major role in drawing public attention to the massive harm Weinstein inflicted onto dozens of women. The overturn is a blow to women’s rights, following the overturn of national reproductive rights. The appeal is not isolated. Notably, Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction was overturned by Pennsylvania’s highest court in 2021. This is the pattern of impunity for sexual violence perpetrators among the rich and powerful.

We cannot rely on the so-called justice system to guarantee justice under capitalism. It was the organizing of the #MeToo movement that forced progress in the legal system. Now that the movement has fizzled out, the rich and powerful are chipping away at any gains made and resuming a status quo of gender oppression. We must go beyond the limits of the courts to throw out this system of exploitation, oppression and sexual violence. Then, we can replace it with one of equality, dignity, respect, and kindness.