Judge orders release of names of jurors in Bill Cosby trial

Jun 22, 2017, 08:18

But he seemed to suggest that he would release the jurors' names as soon as they reached a verdict.

The names of the jurors who deadlocked in the Bill Cosby sexual assault case have been released.

On those two charges, the juror alleged, the two holdouts who believed Cosby was not guilty were "not moving, no matter what".

(Philadelphia) - The Pennsylvania judge who presided over Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial will decide Wednesday whether to identify jurors who deadlocked in the case after a week of deliberations.

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Pennsylvania law allows the public release of jurors' names, but judges have discretion to keep them a secret under certain conditions.

O'Neill said he would instruct each juror not to discuss anything their fellow jurors said or any votes for conviction or acquittal other jurors made during six days of deliberations.

When the judge did not make the names of the jurors public at the end of the trial, several news organizations, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Associated Press, The Washington Post and The New York Times, filed a motion requesting access to the names, citing their First Amendment right. The judge has to balance two constitutional issues: the right to a free press and Bill Cosby's right to a fair trial. He was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent sexual assault against victim Andrea Constand, who claimed that he drugged and assaulted her in 2004. The jurors' names haven't been made public and the split on the vote hasn't been disclosed, shrouding the case in mystery.

McCloskey also detailed an eerie bus ride as the sequestered panel was bused the 300 miles from Norristown, PA to Pittsburgh-during which no one spoke.

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"It's a civics lesson for all of us", said Segal, who was joined in court by Paul J. Safier, a lawyer representing additional media outlets who joined in the request to release the jurors' identities. Like the judge, they worry about finding 18 unbiased jurors for the retrial of the case, given the worldwide coverage of the comedian's first trial. "I am eternally grateful for the messages I have received in recent days", Andrea Constand said in a tweet. If not for court-sanctioned secrecy, his accusers might have known about each other and been more willing to come forward.

The jury deadlocked after 30 hours of deliberations and there was no movement after that, the juror said, adding that the tension was heightened by the size of the tiny deliberation room.

After so many allegations across so many decades, it's astounding that Cosby has been able to walk away unpunished by the criminal justice system, if not unscathed.

The Associated Press tried contacting jurors for comment Wednesday but wasn't immediately able to reach any of them. It is not yet clear why jurors could not reach a verdict, or how close they came.

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O'Neill has kept the names private since jury selection in Pittsburgh last month, where he assured jurors that he would work to protect their privacy.

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