, 12 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
THREAD: What does Epstein's death mean for his victims?
1/ Despite talk that prosecutors will go after Jeffrey Epstein's co-conspirators, and that his victims will push forward with lawsuits, his death hurts victims.

I published this piece in @nytimes explaining why, and hit the high points in this thread. nytimes.com/2019/08/13/opi…
@nytimes 2/ Epstein's death ends the criminal case against him because prosecutors can't pursue a criminal case against a dead person.

That means no public trial of Epstein putting evidence before the public. Evidence obtained via grand jury subpoena may never see the light of day.
@nytimes 3/ It's true that prosecutors are pursuing cases against his accomplices.

But it is harder to prove those cases now that Epstein is dead. If he was convicted and faced a long sentence, he might have "flipped" against them.

They might have had an incentive to flip against him.
@nytimes 4/ In my experience, the process of preparing for trial (including interviewing victims multiple times) tends to generate new leads.

Prosecutors will aggressively investigate, but without a trial of Epstein, that opportunity is lost.
@nytimes 5/ If Epstein was convicted, prosecutors would have been able to seize his 21,000-square-foot mansion without a fuss. Now they will have to pursue a civil or administrative forfeiture action against his estate, which will take time and will be easier for his estate to contest.
@nytimes 6/ Civil lawsuits brought by victims will move forward against his estate. His death means they won't be stayed (delayed) for months while his criminal case progressed.

But now victims won't be able to pursue a deposition of Epstein.
@nytimes 7/ The threat of a deposition could have put a lot of pressure on Epstein. If he sat for a deposition, he could have generated new criminal liability for himself or provided testimony that hurt associates that would have an incentive to flip against him.
@nytimes 8/ If Epstein took the Fifth, that could be used against him in the civil case.

Now victims don't have that very important tool to use in civil cases against Epstein's estate.
@nytimes 9/ When Epstein was alive, the threat that associates who were also sued could feel pressured to flip against him give Epstein an incentive to settle with victims.

Now associates have more of an incentive to fight onward. Their criminal liability harder to prove than his was.
@nytimes 10/ The best hope for public disclosure in the short term comes from the Inspector General's investigation of the questionable plea deal Epstein received as well as the multiple investigations of his death.

Certainly investigative journalists and civil suits will go on.
@nytimes 11/ But now victims will never see Epstein brought to justice, and unless an accomplice is charged, they will never see a public trial establishing the abuse they suffered.

Instead they face lengthy civil litigation, which can generate settlements but not justice. /end
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