Names of jurors in Bill Cosby case are released


(AP Photo/Matt Rourke). Bill Cosby exits the Montgomery County Courthouse after a mistrial was declared in Norristown, Pa., Saturday, June 17, 2017.

The judge presiding over the Bill Cosby case indicated he would rule Wednesday whether to grant a motion filed by news organizations - including Pittsburgh's Action News 4 - to release the names of the jurors from Cosby's mistrial.

O'Neill indicated in court papers that the names, which were requested by various media outlets, will be provided by the county court administrator but only after the jurors are contacted by court officials and made aware of the directives contained in the court order.

The document states that a disclosure of anything said or done during deliberations "would have a chilling effect upon future jurors in this case and their ability to deliberate freely".

Prosecutors and Cosby's lawyers opposed the release of the names, saying Tuesday that granting the press access to jurors' identities would jeopardize the entertainer's prospects at a retrial and expose jury members to potentially invasive hounding from the media. A university staff memo sent to the curators says sexual assault allegations against Cosby are "incompatible" with the honorary doctorate in humane letters given to him in 1999.

The guidelines from Judge Steven T. O'Neill seemed created to greatly limit what jurors could reveal in media interviews.

"This is a critical part of the justice system", Segal argued.

"If a juror were to be asked about deliberations and there were to be press coverage about those deliberations, I don't see what marginal difference that would make given that the prosecution and the defense have spoken publicly about this case, including evidence that was not heard in court", he said.

The jurors, who were selected from the Pittsburgh area, were transported back to their homes in Allegheny County on Saturday evening.

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In the interview the juror - who talked on conditions on anonymity - said that after hours of deliberation, "people would just start crying out of nowhere, we wouldn't even be talking about [the case] - and people would just start crying".

"Andrea (Constand's) testimony I think was very strong", said alternate juror Mike McCloskley.

In a tweet, Andrea Constand expressed gratitude for her supporters.

At trial, she testified that the man formerly known as America's Dad - and formerly viewed by Constand as a mentor - gave her three blue pills he promised would calm her nerves.

The names will be released once each juror has been informed of the decision, according to court staff.

"Jurors shall not disclose arguments or comments made, or votes cast, by fellow jurors during the deliberations", the judge ruled.

Cosby, 79, has called the sexual encounter consensual. They deliberated more than 50 hours and still could not reach a verdict.

Constand's 12-year-old police complaint against Cosby went to trial this month and ended Saturday with a hung jury.

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