Defense raises race bias in Cosby jury selection process


"But we've seen stranger things in these big trials", said James Braxton Peterson, director of Africana Studies at Lehigh University.

Prosecutors drew criticism this week for excusing two black jurors. Prosecutors have used their strikes to send two black women home, although they say race was not a factor in those decisions.

Angela Agrusa, a lawyer for the disgraced comedian, spoke to the media with Cosby at her side upon their arrival thanking the people of Allegheny County for showing up for their civil duty.

Cosby claims the incident was consensual.

After deliberating with the counsel, the judge chose to keep the woman on the anonymous jury.

More than three-quarters on Wednesday said they had heard of the case, with 45 saying they have already formed an opinion of Cosby's guilt or innocence.

The 11 people chosen so far include one black juror. Lawyers then picked a white woman to replace him.

The jury makeup is 17 percent black, higher than the 13 percent black population in Allegheny County. In a second group of 93 people summoned to court Wednesday, 11 were black.

He and his team have increasingly alleged that his race played some role in the accusations that have ensnared him.

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The jurors selected earlier this week included a black woman who said she knew only "basic information" about the case, a young white man who initially expressed a tendency to believe police and two people who said they don't read or watch the news.

Cosby goes on trial June 5 in suburban Philadelphia.

At the same time, she said, Cosby is hardly the average black defendant. He said the only drug he gave her was Benadryl. One prospective juror said he would suffer away from his wife's cooking due to his colitis before joking that his 45-year marriage was longer than some murderers served in prison, prompting laughs from the courtroom, including Cosby. In the deposition, Cosby confessed to obtaining Quaaludes, a strong sedative, to hand out to females he wanted to have sex with, although he insisted he didn't use them when he is alleged to have assaulted Constand.

O'Neill has questioned potential jurors extensively on issues like how familiar they are with the Cosby scandal and whether they know victims of sexual assault.

Prosecutors declined to bring charges against Cosby in 2005, although he was later arrested on December 30, 2015, just days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired. Cosby has pleaded not guilty and is free on $1 million bail.

Bill Cosby, on Wednesday, arrived in court on day three of the jury selection process for his upcoming rape trial.

Dozens of other women have made similar accusations against Cosby, 79, but O'Neill is allowing only one of them to testify at the June 5 trial in suburban Philadelphia.

A complaint of jury selection racial bias ahead of Bill Cosby's criminal trial has been dismissed.

Comedian and television icon Bill Cosby got his jury Wednesday in Allegheny County. Cosby entered the Allegheny County Courthouse May 22, as cameras flashed and onlookers stood starstruck.