Published: Wed, June 07, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Bill Cosby's Defense Lawyers Accuse Prosecution of Excluding African Americans


However, the judge found that prosecutors had valid reasons for each of the potential black jurors they dismissed from the jury pool. Defense attorneys failed to convince Judge Steven T. O'Neill that prosecutors were "systematically excluding" potential black jurors. A new jury pool will be summoned on Wednesday.

The 12 jurors who will determine whether or not Bill Cosby is guilty of sexual assault have been selected.

The new pool of about 93 people appears to include eight black women and three black men. The person chosen to replace him is a white woman. Forty-one of them will return Tuesday for further questioning. The defense cites legal experts who say Cosby will benefit from having blacks on the jury.

Once selected, the jurors will be sequestered 500km away in Norristown, a Philadelphia suburb, where the trial is set to begin on June 5.

Numerous women allege he drugged and sexually assaulted them.

After deliberating with the counsel, the judge chose to keep the woman on the anonymous jury.

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All of them are white. Last week, Cosby suggested in a radio interview that he has been treated worse during the scandal due to racism. The jury from Pittsburgh will be sequestered nearly 300 miles from home. However, McMonagle was successful in convincing the judge to allow the jury to come from another area, as he argued it would allow for a more diverse group.

Of the 11 current jurors, one is black. Cosby became the first black actor to star in a network TV show in 1965 but has alienated some younger blacks by criticizing their clothes, music and lifestyle.

The two jurors chosen Tuesday morning are a man in his 20s and a woman who looks to be in her 50s. The case is set for trial June 5 in suburban Philadelphia.

Cosby arrived at the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh just before 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The 79-year-old Cosby is accused of drugging and molesting a Temple University employee in 2004.

The former The Cosby Show star has long maintained the sex he had with Constand was consensual, and although he was not charged with any crimes at the time, he did settle a civil suit with her out of court in 2006.

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When the jury she helped pick this week arrives in suburban Philadelphia for Cosby's trial, the tabloids will be there, too.

A fresh set of about 100 prospective jurors were called on Wednesday in a Pittsburgh courtroom.

Prosecutors drew criticism this week for excusing two black jurors.

Little information has been made public about the jurors, so their ages and most of their professions are unknown.

The victim, who has not been named, had been expected to testify if the case went to trial, according to Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney.

In the end, all but one member of the panel said they were at least somewhat familiar with the allegations against Cosby. The comedian's attorney Brian McMonagle asserts that race could play a role in the case, and presented statistical evidence to prove his point.

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Cosby's lawyers objected when the prosecution blocked an African-American woman from the jury even though she said she could serve fairly.

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