Bill Cosby trial judge delivers defense 2 big victories

Bill Cosby trial judge delivers defense 2 big victories

Bill Cosby trial judge delivers defense 2 big victories

A key process - the selection of a jury of seven men and five women - was completed on Wednesday after nearly three days of selection, with prosecutors and lawyers for Cosby agreeing on the final member of the panel.

Defense attorney's claimed similar cases of discrimination during jury selection on Tuesday, claiming the prosecution was eliminating older white males from serving on the jury. The prosecution said the defense argument was flawed because two African Americans were picked for the jury.

Five of the jurors picked so far are white and two are black, with four men and three women.

Six more jurors were chosen on Tuesday, bringing the total number seated to seven.

Cosby is charged with drugging and sexually molesting Ms Constand, a Temple University women's basketball administrator, at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

As Wednesday's session got underway, a judge gave The Associated Press and other media organizations more access to jury selection.

The next day, the prosecution used one of its challenges to strike a black woman.

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.

Comedian Bill Cosby has arrived for the first day of jury selection in his retrial on sexual assault charges.

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Judge Steven O'Neill also helped the defence case by ruling that jurors can hear how much Cosby paid accuser Andrea Constand in a 2006 civil settlement. It took three days to find a jury in Pittsburgh for the first trial, selected from two groups of about 100 Allegheny County residents.

Last year's panel included a man in his 80s who told reporters he was suspicious of Constand's story and suspected that "politics was involved" in reviving the decade-old case with "no stained clothing, no smoking gun, nothing". 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 majority of potential jurors summoned for the first trial said they had heard of the case, and almost half reported that they already had a fixed opinion about Cosby's guilt or innocence. But for some reason our society just needed a few more years to truly condemn that kind of behaviour.

A middle-aged white woman also picked as an alternate said she could put aside her thoughts that Cosby is guilty. The camera shows the judge, prosecutors and defense lawyers, but not potential jurors.

The accusation led to a tense argument in the Pennsylvania courtroom before the judge adjourned to discuss the matter, but he indicated he was unlikely to side with Cosby's lawyers.

His accuser's attorney says that the woman, Marguerite Jackson, is "not telling the truth". The first trial end in a mistrial last June when the jury could not reach a verdict.

Prosecutors plan to call as many as five additional accusers to portray Cosby as a serial predator.

All but one of the people in the initial group of potential jurors said they were aware of the #MeToo movement or the allegations it spurred against powerful entertainment figures.

The Associated Press 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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