Bill Cosby judge to rule on whether to release juror names

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Bill Cosby judge to rule on whether to release juror names
Bill Cosby judge to rule on whether to release juror names

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) – The Pennsylvania judge who presided over Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial is weighing whether to make public the identities of the jurors who deadlocked in the case.

Judge Steven O’Neill said he would rule by Wednesday.

O’Neill has said he fears the release of the jurors’ names would have a chilling effect on the selection of jurors needed for Cosby’s retrial if the first jury discusses its deliberations with the news media.

Lawyers for news outlets argued at a hearing Tuesday that the names should almost always be public to ensure transparency in the judicial process.

A mistrial was declared Saturday in Cosby’s sex assault trial near Philadelphia. O’Neill plans to hold the retrial within four months.

Cosby denies drugging and molesting accuser Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

Bill Cosby exits the Montgomery County Courthouse after a mistrial was declared in Norristown, Pa., Saturday, June 17, 2017. Cosby’s trial ended without a verdict after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Cosby’s accuser Andrea Constant leaves the courtroom at the Montgomery County Courthouse after a mistrial the Bill Cosby sexual assault case in Norristown, Pa., Saturday, June 17, 2017. Cosby’s trial ended without a verdict after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision. (Ed Hille/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)
Andrew Wyatt raises his fist as Bill Cosby exits the Montgomery County Courthouse after a mistrial was declared in Norristown, Pa., Saturday, June 17, 2017. Cosby’s trial ended without a verdict after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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