NEW YORK, June 21 (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania judge on Wednesday released the names of the jurors who failed to reach a unanimous verdict in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial but set strict limits on what they can tell the public about their unsuccessful deliberations.
Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O‘Neill granted a request from several media companies to reveal the jurors’ identities, which were kept secret during the trial due to its extraordinary publicity.
O‘Neill said he would instruct each juror not to discuss anything their fellow jurors said or any votes for conviction or acquittal other jurors made during six days of deliberations.
The names of the jurors were emailed by the court to media organizations.
Cosby, 79, is facing a second trial for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. The case is the only criminal prosecution to emerge from dozens of similar allegations against the entertainer and comedian.
Both prosecutors and defense lawyers had urged O‘Neill not to disclose the jurors’ names, arguing that news coverage of their deliberations could have an effect potential jurors for the retrial, making it more difficult to find an unbiased panel.
Thus far, only a single alternate juror, one of six who heard the evidence but did not participate in deliberations, has spoken out, telling a Pittsburgh radio station he would have voted to convict Cosby.
Without more details from jurors, it may be impossible to determine why the jury was unable to come to a consensus despite 52 hours of deliberations, longer than the trial itself. Jurors asked to rehear lengthy excerpts of trial testimony but eventually told O‘Neill they were hopelessly deadlocked.
O‘Neill did not ask the 12 jurors how they were split.
The original jury was already brought across the state from Pittsburgh to Montgomery County out of concern about the amount of pretrial publicity the case generated. (Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Scott Malone, Toni Reinhold)