Cosby judge could revisit issue of revealing names of jurors
Cosby judge could revisit issue of revealing names of jurors
Real judge for Bill Cosby will be public opinion
by Cordelia Lynch
23 June, 2017, 02:15
Bill Cosby escaped a criminal conviction on Saturday when Judge Steven O'Neill announced that the TV star's rape case had ended in a mistrial. Despite that, he remained sequestered in Montgomery County.
It has become increasingly common for judges to keep juror names secret during high-profile trials, though not after the case has ended, said Paula Hannaford-Agor, who studies juries for the nonprofit National Center for State Courts.
Bill Cosby exits the Montgomery County Courthouse after a mistrial was declared in Norristown, Pa., Saturday, June 17, 2017. The comic icon is accused of allegedly sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his Cheltenham Township home in 2004 with the use of blue pills and wine.
By sowing doubt among one or more jurors, Cosby's lawyers managed to overcome two years of unrelenting bad publicity for their client after the public release of his damaging testimony about drugs and sex, as well as a barrage of accusations from 60 women who came forward to accuse him of sexual assault. "I am eternally grateful for the messages I have received in recent days", Andrea Constandtweeted early Tuesday morning.
A judge will hear arguments on whether the names of the jurors at Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial should be made public.
But O'Neill gave them a special instruction required by law and sent them back to deliberate to see if they could settle their differences and reach a verdict. Cosby maintains the sexual encounter was consensual.
One alternate juror, Mike McCloskey, 43, posted a picture of his jury badge on social media and spoke briefly with WDVE-FM in Pittsburgh.
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Levenson believes the breakdown of the first Cosby jury is important to know, but perhaps not predictive of how the second trial might go.
He acknowledged that the public has a right to jurors names in most cases - "Armed with such knowledge, the public can confirm the impartiality of the jury, which acts as an additional check upon the prosecutorial and judicial process,"Steele wrote - but argued that in this case, the rights of all parties to a fair trial could be prejudiced by the release of names".
Juror names are normally a matter of public record and judges must justify the decision to seal them, legal experts said.
"It was ridiculously creepy", McCloskey said on the radio station, according to Philly.com.
Jurors can reveal they were on the jury. "The jurors, they used their power to speak", the spokesman said. Following a series of complaints against him, he had to face three felony charges of second-degree aggravatedindecent assault. The Constand case is the only one that fell within the statutes of limitations, and Philadelphia District Attorney Kevin Steele was voracious in fighting to take down Cosby.
Troiani acknowledged the difficulty of the case, given the passage of time and the impact of the alleged drugging on Constand's ability to recall details.
"My opinion continues to be that Ms. Constand was probably the victim of a sexual assault", said Castor, whom Constand is suing for defamation.
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