After arriving at an impasse a day earlier, the jurors in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial have asked the judge to clarify the definition of “reasonable doubt.”
Following six days of testimony and closing arguments, the 12-person jury in Cosby’s trial are in their fifth day of deciding whether the famed comedian is guilty of giving drugs to and molesting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004.
While officials did not comment on the state of the deliberations, the jurors did not go back to the judge with any more questions or requests to relisten to more testimony for more than ten hours before asking the judge to clarify the meaning of “reasonable doubt” on Friday morning.
On Thursday, the jurors announced that they had deadlocked and were unable to reach a unanimous decision but were promptly sent back to continue trying to by the judge. Cosby, 79, is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault in relation to Constand, who first filed a civil claim against Cosby in 2005.
The prosecution spent five days laying out evidence from Constand herself as well as expert witnesses, while the defence took just over six minutes to argue that Constand had consented to a relationship. After more than 40 hours of discussion, jurors appeared more alert and less tired than they had at the end of the first few days, according to Philly.com.
Meanwhile, supporters for both Cosby and the victims have gathered outside the courthouse with chants and signs. As some of the supporters shouted slogans like “Love you, Bill! Always!” and “God’s got this!” the tensions outside the courthouse started to rise.
After Constand’s allegations against Cosby went public, dozens of women came forward with similar accusations. Speaking in support of Constand, a woman who also accused Cosby of sexual assault said that his defence attorney put on an Oscar-winning “performance” in court.
“If Oscars were awarded to trial attorneys for their performance in court, Brian McMonagle, Bill Cosby’s attorney, would win one,” Lili Bernard said on CNN’s “New Day.”
While the jurors who acquitted actor Robert Blake of murdering his wife in 2005 spent nine days in deliberations, the jury discussions in the Cosby trial have now surpassed the usual number of days for similar trials.
Over the last week, numerous commentators have compared Cosby’s case to the O.J. Simpson trial in 1994, which also drew extreme media attention and required a sequestered jury.
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