Cosby defence says jury selection discriminatory

Cosby defence says jury selection discriminatory

Darren Sullivan
April 8, 2018

Jackson, a former co-worker of Constand's at Temple University, will likely be called by the defense to paint Constand as a liar seeking fame and money from their well-known client.

The comedian denies the claims against him and his defense argued at his first trial that he and Constand had consensual relations.That trial, which took place past year, ended in a hung jury.

A dozen people were invited back for individual questioning on Wednesday (Thursday NZT) as the prosecution and defence looked to fill the remaining spots.

That's one of the reasons why, in June of a year ago, Bill Cosby avoided a guilty verdict in the criminal Constand case. One woman and one man are Black. The judge said he didn't believe the prosecution had any "discriminatory intent" but halted the third day of jury selection to consider the defence argument.

Veteran lawyers and jury consultants say #MeToo could cut both ways for Cosby, making some potential jurors more hostile and others more likely to think men are being unfairly accused. He claimed Constand and her lawyers harmed his reputation and cost him a chance to return as district attorney by criticizing him and suing him for defamation days before the 2015 election.

Opening statements in the case are scheduled for Monday.

Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home. He says the sexual encounter was consensual.

Numerous victims recall Cosby offering them a drink that was laced with Quaaludes, a notable date-rape drug, which he admitted to in an old deposition. More than 40 women have accused the 80 year old entertainer of sexual assault.

Cosby's lawyers objected to having reporters in the courtroom because they feared it could hurt their ability to find a fair and impartial jury.

"I couldn't have anticipated this", she said, and then handed out a prepared brief.

Last time, jury selection played out in Pittsburgh, due to defense concerns that a local jury in the Philadelphia suburbs may have been too influenced by media coverage.

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O'Neill also hinted during a pretrial hearing last week that he could keep jurors from hearing Cosby's prior testimony in a deposition about giving quaaludes to women before sex.

O'Neill called the jury-selection process "long and arduous".

The jury so far consists of six whites and two blacks.

O'Neill is expected to begin peppering the large group with questions on how many are familiar with the allegations against Cosby or other issues that might disqualify them from sitting on the panel.

While the twelfth and final juror was seated Wednesday, the majority of 120-person pool vetted Thursday to seat the six alternates said they'd formed an opinion as to Cosby's guilty or innocence. Only one juror was chosen Monday during the first day of jury selection.

Cosby is being tried on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004. One juror said the panel was split 10-2 in favor of conviction, while another said the group was more evenly divided.

The judge told jurors the trial will last about a month.

There are seven men and five women.

In all, prosecutors and the defense removed a total of 91 potential jurors before breaking on Monday.

They claim the prosecution team made a disparaging remark after a black woman was removed from consideration.