Cosby jury filled as defense alleges discrimination

The Latest Jury selection resumes after Cosby challenge

After a showdown over race, the jury picked to decide Bill Cosby's fate in the first big trial of the #MeToo era ended up mirroring the gender and racial makeup of the group that deadlocked previous year: seven men and five women - 10 white, two black. Justices upheld an 1879 ruling, and said that while defendants don't have to right to a jury panel featuring people of their own race, the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause stops prosecutors from striking jurors on the basis of race.

Cosby's lawyers are upset because prosecutors have blocked two white men from serving on the jury, including one who said he thought numerous women coming forward in the #MeToo movement are "jumping on the bandwagon".

Court will resume Thursday to pick six alternative jurors.

Cosby is charged with drugging and sexually assaulting Constand at his home in suburban Philadelphia more than 14 years ago.

Andrea Constand is seen at the Montgomery County Courthouse during the first Cosby trial in June 2017. The previous trial ended with a hung jury, which was unable to reach a verdict after six days of deliberation.

Judge Steven O'Neill questioned a group of 120 prospective jurors as jury selection continues for a fourth day Thursday.

When Bliss made her argument, citing previous case laws, she concluded by saying that after the juror had been dismissed, a member of the defense team heard a member of the prosecution make a remark indicative of racism.

The jury is not meant to bring any biases into the courtroom with them, but recent events and the publicity of this case may make that nearly impossible.

The defense wanted a man who said he thought numerous women coming forward in the #MeToo movement were "jumping on the bandwagon", but prosecutors used a challenge to send him home.

The judge also ruled that jurors can hear how much Cosby paid Constand in a 2006 civil settlement.




A Philadelphia judge, meanwhile, threw out a former prosecutor's defamation lawsuit against Cosby's accuser. The camera showed the judge, prosecutors and defense lawyers, but not potential jurors who were being questioned as a group.

The 80-year-old Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting a former Temple University athletics administrator at his home in 2004.

While the prior proceeding lasted two weeks, jurors and alternates selected in this case will be subject to strict sequestration for as long as a month. He said prosecutors had no problem seating the two other black people who had appeared for individual questioning.

"She passed every single stage as a fair and impartial juror", Ms. Bliss said.

Montgomery County President Judge Thomas DelRicci said he would schedule a hearing on the news media's request.

The woman said she could put aside her thoughts that Cosby is guilty.

His accuser's attorney says that the woman, Marguerite Jackson, is "not telling the truth".

Prosecutors, too, believe they have bolstered their case against Cosby with testimony from five additional accusers - all of whom allege that they, like Constand, were drugged and assaulted by the entertainer in incidents dating back decades. Since then, prosecutors have told Cosby's lawyers that Constand had modified her statement to acknowledge she "recalls a Margo".

The Associated Press doesn't typically identify people who say they're victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

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