Bill Cosby judge to rule Wednesday on releasing juror names

Author

22 June, 2017

In a statement read aloud after mistrial was announced, Cosby's wife of several decades, Camille Cosby, thanked the jurors. Cosby's accuser Andrea Constant leaves the courtroom at the Montgomery County Courthouse after a mistrial the Bill Cosby sexual assault case in Norristown, Pa., Saturday, June 17, 2017.

O'Neill advised jurors when the trial ended Saturday that they didn't need to discuss the case.

Channel 11 has learned a judge will decide Wednesday morning whether or not to publicly release the names of the jurors in the Cosby case.

Typically, judges might withhold names of jurors to protect their privacy during the trial but would release them when a trial concludes, if not earlier.

In a hearing Tuesday on a petition by media organizations to release the names, Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O'Neill said he is still weighing how to balance Cosby's right to a fair and impartial trial against the presumption that juror names are public information.

"Jurors shall not disclose arguments or comments made, or votes cast, by fellow jurors during deliberations."The names were released about an hour after the judge's order, but did not distinguish who served on the jury and who comprised the six alternate jurors.Early in June, Philadelphia Media Network, the publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, petitioned the court for the names of the jurors to be released". It's possible the jury for the Cosby retrial may also be selected here.

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The juror said that accusations by dozens of other women against Cosby were not factored into the deliberations at all, and when someone tried to discuss anything outside the boundaries of the trial testimony and evidence, the others would swiftly end the discussion.

Cosby, 79, had been charged in 2015 with three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault stemming from a 2004 incident involving Constand at his home in Pennsylvania. "They played a critical role in this case", said Eli Segal, an attorney representing some of the media outlets. "The qualified right to juror names was meant to promote fairness and impartiality in the justice system, not undermine it". "I am eternally grateful for the messages I have received in recent days", Andrea Constand said in a tweet Tuesday.

Without detailing the discussions that took place, the juror's personal belief is that Constand may not have known what pills Cosby was giving her, but "she did take them, and he didn't force them on her". If we kept going, there was definitely going to be a fight. McCloskey first came forward to a Pittsburgh radio station.

"It can never be clearer that if you speak up, you could be chilling the justice system in the future if jurors are needed in this case", O'Neill told them.

Throughout the trial, Judge O'Neill had been mindful of the jurors, who were chosen from Allegheny County, some 300 miles away, to avoid the influence of pretrial publicity.

The jurors tension, they said, was exacerbated by the small room they were placed in to deliberate. O'Neill pushed them to try to find a verdict, but on the sixth day a mistrial was declared.


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