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Bill Cosby judge could revisit issue of revealing names of jurors

NORRISTOWN, PA.—The names of the jurors who failed to reach a verdict in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial have not been made public, but the judge in the case could revisit the issue as early as Monday.The names remain shielded under a protective order that several news outlets have challenged. Judge Steven O’Neill advised jurors when the trial ended on Saturday outside Philadelphia, after a week of testimony and 52 hours of deliberations, that they need not discuss the case, even as the public debates whether age, race, gender or other issues separated them.“It can never be clearer that if you speak up, you could be chilling the justice system in the future if jurors are needed in this case,” O’Neill told them.Criminal law professor Jody Armour wonders if the bitter divide over social issues that is evident in American politics was at work in the jury room.“Social attitudes in general affect what happens in criminal trials, in rape cases. We can now wonder if a lot of those kinds of attitudes were at play in … Bill Cosby’s rape case,” said Armour, who teaches at the University of South California.Article Continued BelowCosby, the actor and comedian known as “America’s Dad,” was charged with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from Andrea Constand’s allegations that he drugged and violated her at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Cosby, 79, said the encounter was consensual.Bill Cosby was charged with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from Andrea Constand’s allegations that he drugged and violated her at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.  (EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ / AFP / GETTY IMAGES)  Two women jurors looked anguished when they announced the final deadlock, wiping away tears. Other jurors were harder to read. It is not yet clear why jurors could not reach a verdict, or how close they came.“We get 12 people to agree on sex assault cases all the time, but this is not any case. It’s an old case, it’s a controversial case, it’s a case that involves questions of consent,” said professor Laurie Levenson, of Loyola Law School.

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