News

Names of jurors in Bill Cosby case are released

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 21, 2017 4:02 PM
cosby_trial_outside.jpg

Photo by AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

People gather on the steps of the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Tuesday, June 13, 2017, as jury deliberations in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial take place.

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

The judge who presided over Cosby's suburban Philadelphia trial ordered their release Wednesday but said the jurors could not discuss what other jurors said during deliberations.

Judge Steven O'Neill declared a mistrial on Saturday after the jury deliberated 52 hours without a verdict. Prosecutors plan to try Cosby again on charges he drugged and molested a woman in 2004, charges Cosby denies.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys wanted to keep the jurors' identities a secret, saying their disclosure would make it more difficult to pick an impartial panel for the next trial. Media groups argued for their release.

The Associated Press has tried to contact jurors for comment but hasn't spoken speak to any of them.

An earlier story appears below.

(Norristown) -- The judge who presided over Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial on Wednesday ordered the public release of the identities of the jurors who deadlocked in the case, but warned them not to divulge what other jurors said during deliberations.

Judge Steven O'Neill granted a request by a dozen media organizations, including The Associated Press and the major TV networks, to release the names. He said the jurors would first be contacted and given instructions on what they can and cannot say if they talk to reporters.

The judge declared a mistrial Saturday after the jury deliberated for 52 hours without a verdict. Prosecutors plan to retry the 79-year-old entertainer on charges he drugged and molested a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Cosby said the encounter with Andrea Constand was consensual.

Lawyers for news outlets had argued that jurors' names should be public to ensure transparency in the judicial process. Prosecutors and defense lawyers had argued they should remain secret, saying releasing them would make it more difficult to select a jury in Cosby's second trial.

O'Neill cited the media's First Amendment rights and Supreme Court precedent in ordering the release of the names. But he forbade jurors from talking about what other members of the jury said in the deliberating room or from revealing any votes cast in the case.

"Any disclosure of what was said and done during deliberations in this case would give a chilling effect upon the future jurors in this case and their ability to deliberate freely," he wrote. "Further, future jurors will be reluctant to speak up or to say what they think when deliberating if they fear that what they say during deliberations will not be kept secret."

The judge plans to hold Cosby's second trial in the next four months.

He ruled one day after a hearing at which the media outlets argued that jurors should be free to discuss their backgrounds, the sequestration process and their individual views, even if they do not disclose the jury split or other jurors' comments.

"This is a critical part of the justice system," lawyer Eli Segal argued. "We are entitled to them."

The jury was selected from the Pittsburgh area and spent two weeks sequestered 300 miles from home.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

___
For more on Cosby, including stories about the trial, historical photos, videos and an audio series exploring the case, visit http://www.apnews.com/tag/CosbyonTrial.

An earlier story appears below.

(Norristown) -- The judge who presided over Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial on Wednesday ordered the public release of the identities of the jurors who deadlocked in the case, but warned them not to divulge what other jurors said during deliberations.

Judge Steven O'Neill granted a request by a dozen media organizations, including The Associated Press, to release the names. He said that'll be done once the jurors are contacted and given instructions on what they can and cannot say if they talk to reporters.

The judge declared a mistrial Saturday after the jury deliberated for 52 hours without a verdict. Prosecutors plan to retry the 79-year-old entertainer on charges he drugged and molested a woman at his home in 2004. Cosby said the encounter with Andrea Constand was consensual.

Lawyers for news outlets had argued that jurors' names should be public to ensure transparency in the judicial process. Prosecutors and defense lawyers had argued they should remain secret, saying releasing them would make it more difficult to select a jury in Cosby's second trial.

O'Neill cited the media's First Amendment rights and Supreme Court precedent in ordering the release of the names. But he forbade jurors from talking about what other members of the jury said in the deliberating room or from revealing any votes cast in the case.

"Any disclosure of what was said and done during deliberations in this case would give a chilling effect upon the future jurors in this case and their ability to deliberate freely," he wrote. "Further, future jurors will be reluctant to speak up or to say what they think when deliberating if they fear that what they say during deliberations will not be kept secret."

Jim Koval, spokesman for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, wasn't immediately able to provide a timetable on when jurors' names will be made public.

An earlier story appears below.

(Norristown) -- The Pennsylvania judge who presided over Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial is releasing the identities of the jurors who deadlocked in the case.

Judge Steven O'Neill ruled Wednesday that the jurors' names should be made public. He says jurors may not discuss what other jurors said during deliberations.

A mistrial was declared Saturday in Cosby's sex assault trial after the jury deadlocked. O'Neill plans to hold a retrial within four months.

Lawyers for news outlets had argued that jurors' names should be public to ensure transparency in the judicial process. Prosecutors and defense lawyers had argued they should remain secret, saying releasing them would make it more difficult to select a jury in Cosby's second trial.

Cosby denies drugging and molesting accuser Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

Tagged under

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »