Washington, DC: On Saturday, Judge Steven O’Niell of Pennsylvania declared a in the trial of US actor Bill Cosby for sexual assault because the jury had become deadlocked, unable to arrive at a unanimous guilty or not guilty verdict. Prosecutors immediately announced plans to retry the case.,
Brian McMonagle, one of Cosby’s lawyers, addressed the jury, “We came here looking for an acquittal but like thatsong says, ‘You can’t always get what you want. But sometimes you get what you need.'”
|It would be reasonable, based on the evidence presented, for the jurors to agree that Cosby is a sexual predator and still disagree on a verdict as to the assault of Constand.|
|—Former prosecutor Kevin Harden Jr.|
The jurors had deliberated for a total of 53 hours, longer than the testimony of all witnesses combined. They had already declared themselves deadlocked Thursday morning, at which time Judge O’Niell told them to return to deliberations and try again. On Friday, they emerged to request copies of previous testimony and phone transcripts.
When asked why he thought the jury was unable to come to a unanimous verdict in this case, former Philadelphia prosecutor Kevin Harden Junior said that the jurors probably had doubts regarding Constand’s credibility and cited the fact that only one of Cosby’s other accusers had been allowed to testify: “By limiting evidence of other accusers, the Court focused the jury on whether the prosecution presented enough credible evidence to convict Cosby of this particular assault. […] It would be reasonable, based on the evidence presented, for the jurors to agree that Cosby is a sexual predator and still disagree on a verdict as to the assault of Constand.”
law professor Carl Tobias commented on the prospects for a new trial: “The fact that the case turned substantially on one person’s testimony may have made it difficult to win and the defense counsel made many efforts to undercut her testimony. The retrial happens next, and the prosecution may try to call other accusers.”
From Wikinews under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence