Judge orders release of names of jurors in Bill Cosby trial

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22 June, 2017

Alternate juror Mike McCloskey said Monday he was "ridiculously sick" when he found out the main jury couldn't reach a verdict.

The judge in the case declared a mistrial by hung jury on Saturday after 52 hours of deliberation failed to break the deadlock.

Andrea Constand walks to the courtroom during Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., on June 6.

About an hour after the order was made public, the names of the jurors and the alternates were released - once they had all been informed of the judge's decision.

"Jurors shall not disclose anything said or done in the jury room by any of their fellow jurors that may indicate his or her thoughts or opinions", O'Neill wrote.

Both prosecutors and defense lawyers had urged O'Neill not to disclose the jurors' names, arguing that news coverage of their deliberations could have an effect potential jurors for the retrial, making it more hard to find an unbiased panel. Rape is easier for juries to believe when assaults are committed by a stranger who jumps out of some bushes with a gun or knife, not with "three blue pills", as Constand testified Cosby gave her one night in 2004.

In Pennsylvania, the law allows juror names to be released after a trial, but the judge has discretion to keep the names under seal if the publicity would prejudice an important right.

The seven men and five women who were unable to unanimously conclude whether or not "America's Dad" was guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting Temple University staffer Andrea Constand in January 2004 have remained in hiding since their return to Pittsburgh Saturday.

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"This is a critical part of the justice system", the media outlets' lawyer Eli Segal argued.

There is nothing preventing the jurors from speaking to the media, if they choose. "Jurors shall not disclose arguments or comments made, or votes cast, by fellow jurors during deliberations" - which means the media will learn nothing if they track them down in their Pittsburgh-area homes.

"If we kept going, there was definitely going to be a fight", the juror said.

Steele argued on Tuesday that although jurors may choose to come forward to the media of their own volition that should be their choice. "I am eternally grateful for the messages I have received in recent days". Cosby, who faced up to 30 years in jail, has insisted that the encounter with Constand was consensual.

Two jury members were "not moving, no matter what" on the first and third counts of aggravated sexual assault, said the juror, who spoke to ABC News on condition of anonymity.

The Associated Press tried contacting jurors for comment Wednesday but wasn't immediately able to reach any of them.

Judge Steven O'Neill declared a mistrial on Saturday after the jury deadlocked.

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


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