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Two Jurors Prevented a Guilty Verdict in Bill Cosby’s Trial

Two holdout jurors prevented comedian Bill Cosby from being found guilty on two of three counts in his sexual assault trial and deliberations were so tense that jurors burst into tears, a jury member told ABC News in a report yesterday.The juror, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said 10 of the 12 jurors agreed that Cosby was guilty on the first and third felony counts. Jurors reported they were hopelessly deadlocked on all three criminal counts stemming from Cosby’s alleged drugging and assaulting former Temple University athletic department employee Andrea Constand at his Cheltenham home in January 2004. The juror said that the allegations made by other women were not a factor in the deliberation room.O’Neill released the jurors’ names after lawyers for news outlets argued they should be public to ensure transparency in the judicial process. O’Neill pushed them to try to find a verdict, but on the sixth day a mistrial was declared.On Saturday, a mistrial was declared in Cosby’s sexual assault trial. “In this case, there is a substantial probability that the rights of the parties to a fair trial will be prejudiced by the release of the names of the jurors from the recent mistrial”, Kevin R. Steele, the district attorney for Montgomery County in Pennsylvania said.The vote was 11 to 1 to acquit Cosby on a charge that he digitally penetrated her while she was unconscious or unaware.The ruling said the names would be released after court officials contacted each of the jurors and notified them of the judge’s conditions.According to the post-trial instructions, the judge acknowledges the freedom of the press, stating “there is no law forbidding them to question discharged jurors”, and adding that a juror can decline to be interviewed at any time.On Wednesday, the judge ruled that the jurors’ names should be made public. The juror refused to divulge how any other jurors voted, but did say tensions ran high in the room. “People couldn’t even pace”, said the juror.The sequestered jury, selected from the Pittsburgh area because of the media attention in Montgomery County, was transported to a Plymouth Meeting hotel, where the jurors and alternates would stay the next two weeks.Deliberations effectively ended after the jury first deadlocked after 30 hours of deliberations, but the jury pressed on for 22 more hours before giving up hope of unanimous resolutions on any of the three counts. Prosecutors said they will retry the case.”There was no budging, and there was none from there on out”, the juror said of the initial deadlock.The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Ms Constand has done.