Bill Cosby’s lawyers challenged the prosecution’s refusal to allow a black woman to serve on the jury at his sexual retrial, claiming they excluded her simply because of her race.
Prosecutors refuted the claim, pointing to two black jurors who have already been seated.
- A member of the defense team also claimed that a prosecutor made a racially charged comment. Defense attorney Kathleen Bliss described it as “racial animus that cannot be undone.”
- Lawyers from both sides went into chambers to discuss the alleged slur. Afterwards, lead defense attorney Tom Mesereau stated that the defense would withdraw their challenge.
- Judge Steven O’Neill said he didn’t believe the prosecution had “discriminatory intent,” but stopped the third day of jury selection to consider the defense argument more fully.
- Cosby is on trial because Andrea Constand has accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting her at his home in 2004. She is among several dozen women who have made similar claims, but only her case can go to trial because of statute of limitations laws. Cosby, 80, denies all wrongdoing. His first trial ended in a hung jury.
- The wrangling over the juror came after lawyers selected an eighth juror Wednesday, a white woman who seemed to be unsure that she could block out information she’d absorbed about the case against the disgraced comedian and the #MeToo movement.
- “I could try. I mean, it’s still in my head,” she said before agreeing to serve, according to theAssociated Press. So far, there are six white jurors and two black jurors. It is split evenly gender-wise.