Bill Cosby trial: Deadlocked jury asks ‘what is reasonable doubt’

Story highlights

  • If jurors stay deadlocked, the choose can declare a mistrial
  • The jury has requested nearly a dozen questions throughout deliberations
In all, jurors have requested about a dozen questions of the court docket amid 46 hours of deliberations, primarily asking to listen to the trial for a second time. The jury’s continued questions go away open the likelihood that jurors may remain deadlocked and unable to succeed in a unanimous verdict on any of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault that Cosby faces.

Prosecutors say Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand, the previous director of operations for Temple College’s girls’s basketball workforce, at his dwelling close to Philadelphia in January 2004. Cosby, 79, pleaded not responsible to the costs.

On Thursday, jurors advised the court docket that they couldn’t come to a unanimous resolution past an inexpensive doubt, which is required in prison instances.
Decide Steven O’Neill requested the jury to go back into deliberations for an additional try to succeed in a verdict, an instruction recognized in Pennsylvania because the Spencer Cost. It is a set of directions that asks jurors to re-examine their very own views and opinions, and there’s no restrict to what number of occasions a choose can subject it.
Here's what happens now that Bill Cosby's jury is deadlocked

If, after additional deliberations, jurors nonetheless can’t attain consensus, the choose can select to declare a mistrial. Protection attorneys have repeatedly requested for Decide O’Neill to declare a mistrial primarily based on the jury’s size of deliberations, however the choose has denied their request.

“I will permit this to go so long as this jury needs to proceed to deliberate,” O’Neill stated Friday.

If there’s a mistrial, Cosby wouldn’t be thought-about responsible or not responsible, and prosecutors could select to retry the case with a distinct set of jurors. Nonetheless, that may characterize a significant win for Cosby’s workforce, which has argued that the case by no means ought to have reached court docket.

The 12-person jury is made up of 4 white girls, six white males, one black girl and one black man. They had been bused to Norristown, Pennsylvania, from Allegheny County close to Pittsburgh and have been sequestered in a hotel for the trial.

He stated, she stated

The three fees accuse Cosby of assaulting Constand with out her consent, assaulting her when she was unconscious and assaulting her utilizing medication to considerably impair her capability to consent. If discovered responsible, he might withstand 10 years in jail for every cost.

Prosecutors known as 12 witnesses over every week of testimony, together with Constand, however offered nearly no forensic proof. Cosby declined to testify in his personal protection, and his attorneys solely known as one witness. Cosby’s protection attorneys argued the sexual contact was consensual and labored to focus on inconsistencies in Constand’s testimony on cross-examination.

Authorized consultants stated the trial fits the “he said, she said” arguments so frequent to sexual offense instances.
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Jurors asked eight questions throughout their deliberations, largely to rehear testimony. Three questions pertained to a assessment of components of Cosby’s account to authorities, and two had been requests to rehear Constand’s account and testimony.

Jurors additionally requested the court docket to outline the phrase “with out her data” in one of many fees, to outline “cheap doubt,” and requested to rehear testimony from the Cheltenham police detective who interviewed Cosby.

Constand herself didn’t seem confused within the courtroom as she waited for the jury. The previous basketball participant posted a video to Twitter of her passing the time by taking pictures hoops on a mini-backboard.

Although dozens of girls have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, solely Constand’s accusations led to prison fees. One different accuser, Kelly Johnson, testified throughout the trial as prosecutors sought to determine that Cosby had a sample of assault. Johnson testified that she was drugged and assaulted by Cosby in 1996.

‘They’re your folks’

Andrea Constand walks to the courtroom during Bill Cosby's assault trial.
Constand testified over two days final week for the prosecution. In clear and agency statements, she stated Cosby, a robust Temple alum, mentored her and took an curiosity in her profession like a father determine. The comic, 37 years her elder, twice made what she known as “suggestive” passes at her, however she rebuffed him, she stated.

However when talking about her profession plans one evening at his dwelling, the sweater-wearing actor often called “America’s Dad” gave her three blue drugs that he stated had been natural and would assist her loosen up, she testified.

“Put them down, they’re your folks. They will take the sting off,” Cosby advised her, she testified. “I stated ‘I belief you.’ I took the drugs and I swallowed the drugs down.”

She started slurring her phrases and felt dizzy, and advised Cosby so, she stated. Shortly after, she grew to become incapacitated and felt “frozen,” she testified. Cosby then positioned her on the sofa and sexually assaulted her with out her consent, she stated.

She awakened on the sofa early within the morning along with her garments raveled, she stated.

“I felt actually humiliated and I used to be actually confused,” she stated by tears. “I simply wished to go dwelling.”

Cosby lowered and shook his head within the courtroom as she spoke.

Gianna Constand, the accuser’s fiercely protecting mom, testified that Cosby apologized over the cellphone to her and her daughter and provided to pay for her education. Cosby additionally declined to inform her what drugs he had given Andrea Constand, however he did say they had been from a prescription bottle, she testified.

‘I used to be mistaken’

Protection attorneys argued that the sexual contact was a part of a consenting relationship between Cosby and Constand. They solid Cosby as an untrue husband — however not a prison.

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In a tense cross-examination, protection attorneys identified that a number of of Constand’s preliminary statements to police, together with the date of the alleged assault, had been later proved to be false.

“I used to be actually nervous and wasn’t capable of recall each specific second that I had seen Mr. Cosby so as of dates,” she defined.

As well as, Constand initially advised police that she had not been alone with Cosby previous to the alleged assault and that that they had little contact after. Nevertheless, she testified that she had been alone in a resort room with Cosby beforehand, and that there have been 72 calls between the 2 afterward.

She additionally requested Cosby’s representatives totally free tickets for her and her household to see Cosby’s stand-up present in Toronto in August, half a yr after the alleged assault.

However she stated the resort room assembly was not romantic, and defined that she made these cellphone calls in her job duty at Temple. She bought the present tickets as a result of her household beloved Cosby, and she or he hadn’t but advised them concerning the alleged assault.

Protection attorneys stated these weren’t the actions of a sexual assault sufferer, and urged she was mendacity.

“I used to be mistaken,” she stated. “It was loads of confusion placing loads of dates collectively.”

Jurors did hear Cosby’s facet of the story — however not in his voice. Prosecutors and police detectives learn aloud parts of Cosby’s statements to police in 2005 and in a civil deposition in 2006. In these interviews, Cosby admitted to sexual contact with Constand and stated that they had beforehand had a romantic encounter.

He additionally stated the drugs he gave her had been over-the-counter Benadryl, which he admitted may cause sleepiness.

Within the civil deposition, Cosby admitted that he had beforehand obtained prescriptions for Quaaludes, a robust sedative, with the intention of giving the medication to girls with whom he wished to have intercourse.

Prosecutors say his prior use of Quaaludes reveals that Cosby had data of what he was doing when he gave her the drugs.

How we bought right here

Constand initially advised police concerning the alleged assault in January 2005, a yr after she says it passed off. The district legal professional on the time declined to press fees, citing inadequate proof. She sued Cosby in a civil swimsuit and settled for an undisclosed quantity in 2006.

In late 2014, dozens of girls went public with accusations that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them over the course of his prolonged comedic profession.

In July 2015, a choose unsealed Cosby’s deposition in that 2006 civil lawsuit. His admissions in that deposition led Montgomery County prosecutors to file fees in opposition to him.

The trial began on June 5. Cosby, who’s legally blind and carries a cane, has arrived in court each day with someone from the world of entertainment. Keshia Knight Pulliam, who performed Rudy Huxtable on “The Cosby Present,” escorted Cosby into court docket on the primary day of the trial.

His spouse, Camille, walked into court docket with him on Monday, her first look on the trial.

CNN’s Jean Casarez contributed to this report.

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