Alternate jurors selected for Cosby's retrial

Posted April 08, 2018

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.

The attorney for the 80-year-old comedian claimed the prosecution was guilty of "racial animus" after prosecutors excused a middle-aged black women as a potential juror, according to CBS Philly.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers will have to select six alternates.

A black man and black woman have been chosen for the jury over the past two days, joining six white men and women who have been selected so far.

Almost everyone else in the initial jury pool of 120 suburban Philadelphia residents indicated they knew about the charges against Cosby, including the two women picked on Tuesday, and scores of potential jurors were sent home because they said they had already formed an opinion about the former TV star's guilt or innocence.

That's when opening statements are scheduled in the retrial that pits Cosby against a woman who says he drugged and assaulted her in 2004.

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Cosby is charged with drugging and sexually assaulting Constand at his home in suburban Philadelphia more than 14 years ago.

Judge Steven O'Neill questioned a group of 120 prospective jurors as jury selection continues for a fourth day Thursday.

"She passed every single stage as a fair and impartial juror", Ms. Bliss said.

Castor's lawsuit said Cosby paid Constand "well into the millions of dollars" in a civil settlement.

The judge issued one caveat to the ruling, saying he could revisit his decision after Ms Constand's evidence. Both women say they've read media reports about Cosby's case and the #MeToo anti-sexual assault movement. Cosby stumbled slightly getting out of an SUV and then put a hand up to say he was OK before walking into the courthouse. The state insisted that is not the case, and pointed out that two black people have already been seated on the panel. Prosecutors denied race had anything to do with it. Cosby is black. Defense attorneys have said jurors should be told to prepare for a trial that lasts one month, and the panel will be sequestered.

All but one potential juror say they've heard or seen something about the #MeToo movement exposing sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry. She was 29 at the time and served as director of operations for the university's women's basketball team. Cosby's defense announced at a pretrial hearing last week that it would seek to enter its details in court.

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In all, prosecutors and the defense removed a total of 91 potential jurors before breaking on Monday.

That's one of the reasons why, in June of previous year, Bill Cosby avoided a guilty verdict in the criminal Constand case.

Bliss also accused one member of the prosecution team - whom she did not name - of making "discriminatory and repulsive" comments, which she did not detail or describe in open court.

The defense never revealed what they claim was said and agreed to pick more jurors.

Race dominated Wednesday's selection process.

Constand's lawyer has said Marguerite Jackson isn't telling the truth.

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