Why Was The Bill Cosby Case A Mistrial?
On Saturday morning, Bill Cosby's case was declared a mistrial as the jurors — five women and seven men — failed to come to a unanimous decision after six days of deliberation, according to CNN.
The 79-year-old was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault and pleaded not guilty. Cosby has maintained his innocence. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine; standard sentencing commonly ranges between five to 10 years, according to ABC News.
Kevin R. Steel, the district attorney from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, has revealed that he will retry the case, ABC News reports. The jurors have continually asked questions throughout the trial — including requests to see evidence and "what is reasonable doubt?" — which left the possibility for a deadlock, CNN reported.
"We've been at this now for 10 days [including testimony]," Judge Steven O'Neill reportedly told the jury on Friday. "There has been nothing but a supreme effort on your part."
On Thursday, jurors revealed they were unable to come to a unanimous decision beyond a reasonable doubt, so Judge O'Neill asked for one more attempt. This request is known in Pennsylvania — the location of the trial — as the Spencer Charge, which asks jurors to reexamine the situation, and there is no limit to the number of times judges are able to issue it.
After it was declared a mistrial, prosecutors said they will retry Cosby's case, NPR reports.
Cosby never took the stand during this trial, but Andrea Constand, who accused Cosby of drugging her and sexually assaulting her 13 years ago, had excerpts from his 2005 to 2006 depositions in a civil suit read aloud.
Several women have accused Cosby of misconduct, but Constand's accusation was the only one that led to a criminal case, according to CNN.
ABC News reports that Cosby's attorney delivered an intense closing argument. As the comedian left the courthouse Friday, CNN reports that he told bystanders, "I just want to wish all of the fathers a Happy Father's Day and I want to thank all of the jury for their long days, their honest work individually."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gloria Allred, who represents many of Cosby's accusers, said, "We can never overestimate the blinding power of celebrity. But justice will come." Cosby's wife, however, reportedly said, "That is the manifestation of justice, based on facts, not lies."