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Media gathered outside the Southern District of New York Courthouse in Manhattan on Aug. 27, 2019, in advance of a posthumous hearing in the criminal case of Jeffrey Epstein. Media gathered outside the Southern District of New York Courthouse in Manhattan on Aug. 27, 2019, in advance of a posthumous hearing in the criminal case of Jeffrey Epstein.

At Tuesday’s hearing in the Jeffrey Epstein criminal prosecution, a federal judge in Manhattan moved toward ending the case against the deceased financier, even as the judge openly defended his decision to let the alleged victims speak for as long as they wanted in a case that some lawyers argue should have been closed out with a short written order.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, a Southern District of New York senior judge, explained the reasoning behind his unique, and perhaps unprecedented, decision to allow the alleged victims to come before a packed Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday and give the equivalent of victim impact statements in a matter in which Epstein was never convicted, or even tried.

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Jason Grant

Jason Grant is a staff writer covering legal stories and cases for the New York Law Journal, the National Law Journal and Law.com, and a former practicing attorney. He's written and reported previously for the New York Times, the Star-Ledger, the L.A. Times and other publications. Contact him at [email protected] On Twitter, pls find him @JasonBarrGrant

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