What a Deadlocked Jury Could Mean in the Cosby Case
Jun 28 2017 by Francis Osborne
"We can not come to a unanimous consensus on any of the counts", the jury said in a note to Judge Steven O'Neill in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
University of Pennsylvania law professor David Rudovsky, a criminal lawyer in Philadelphia, said Thursday that the jurors' inability to agree on a verdict didn't surprise him, given the nature of a case that boiled down to Cosby's word against his accuser's and the legal meaning of consent.
If convicted Cosby faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine on each charge.
The third count accuses Cosby of impairing Constand "by administering drugs, intoxicants or other means for the goal of preventing resistance".
"'I have three friends for you to make you relax, '" Cosby said, recalling during the deposition what he'd told Constand. "The jury foreman has informed me that you are deadlocked", O'Neill said, according to the New York Times.
They had heard transcripts from police interviews in which Cosby admitted to giving sedatives to women with whom he wanted to have sex.
Cosby is charged with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault over allegations that he drugged and sexually violated Constand, 44. "God bless you", she told them.
They had listened to Andrea Constand testify that Cosby gave her what he initially claimed were "herbal pills" to "take the edge off" - the pills turned out to be prescription sedatives - and then assaulted her while she was incapacitated.
A group comprised of some of the other women claiming they were sexually assaulted by Cosby has also been in attendance, as were numerous lawyers representing them in civil suits.
Constand's lawyer, Dolores Troiani, told reporters that Jackson is "not telling the truth" and faulted Wyatt for circulating Jackson's statement while jurors were deliberating.
"He is not Cliff Huxtable", she said.
In court Thursday, O'Neill read to jurors the Allen Charge, also known as the "dynamite charge", which is a set of instructions that asks jurors to re-examine their own views and opinions. "The jurors are grappling with getting it right", he says.
Deadspin's Diana Moskovitz, who has been covering the Cosby trial for Jezebel, observed a number of vocal Cosby supporters outside the Norristown courthouse on Thursday; one, who only gave his name as "Garvey V", held a sign that read "Free Mr. Cosby". The charges stem from a 2004 sexual encounter with Constand.
There is no rule on how many times O'Neill can order jurors back to work under the Spencer Charge.
From the man who brought his favorite comfy chair to sit in as he waited for the verdict, to the man who shouts out "Hey! Hey!"
"Happy to know that he has 12 people, of his peers, who understand that the facts of this case don't add up", said his spokesman Andrew Wyatt.
On Friday morning, jurors came back with more questions.