Culture&Arts

Alternate juror on Bill Cosby trial 'probably' would have voted to convict

Alternate juror on Bill Cosby trial 'probably' would have voted to convict

But a mistrial isn't really the same as finding someone not guilty, which is why Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele nearly immediately announced his intentions to retry Cosby.

With the failure of the 12-person jury to reach a unanimous decision, a mistrial has been declared.

Concerns about the case's visibility had already prompted O'Neill to import jurors for the first trial from Pittsburgh, around 300 miles (480 km) from the courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia.

Judge Steven O'Neill leaves the courtroom following his decision in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Saturday, June 17, 2017. 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. Agrusa, who tried the high-profile case with co-counsel Brian McMonagle, adds that there were moments upon hearing juror questions last week that she was absolutely convinced the verdict returned would be guilty. Asked why the media could not approach the jurors, he shrugged his shoulders and drove off. Instead, Cosby emerged from the courthouse with his publicity team, which read a statement from his wife that accused the judge likely to retry him of arrogance and collusion with prosecutors. He said he had hoped to learn more about the deliberations on Saturday, when all of the jurors, including the alternates, left Norristown together for the ride back to western Pennsylvania.

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Jurors were selected in Allegheny County because Cosby's attorneys argued that pretrial publicity would make it hard to find impartial jury candidates in Montgomery County, where Cosby lives.

The jury deadlocked on charges that Cosby drugged and molested a woman in 2004, resulting in a mistrial for the 79-year-old TV star.

The mistrial has granted the prosecution that rarest of gifts - the opportunity to cut a deal while saving face under the public glare of the media spotlight.

Mike McCloskey, one of six alternate jurors chosen for the almost two-week trial, discussed his experience in an interview with Pittsburgh radio station WDVE.

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"I was ridiculously sick", when he found out about the mistrial.

While Bill Cosby celebrated Saturday's mistrial in the sexual assault trial involving former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, prosecutors are not ready to let the matter drop and have vowed a second trial. Cosby has vehemently argued against the allegations against him, claiming that any sexual contact he had with any of his accusers was consensual. McCloskey says jurors did not discuss the case on the bus ride after the trial. However, the six alternates listened to all of the testimony, in case a juror had to be excused for illness or another reason.

The names of the jurors who failed to reach a verdict in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial have not been made public, but the judge could revisit the issue as early as Monday.

The names remain shielded under a protective order that several news outlets have challenged.

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"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.


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