‘Cosby’s’ argument: jury kept their deliberations secret from public – US news roundup

As The Atlantic explains, …Cosby has filed appeals several times since his conviction in 2017. His latest motion to vacate, filed Tuesday, argues that the June 2017 decision “was a properly made judgment in the …

As The Atlantic explains,

…Cosby has filed appeals several times since his conviction in 2017. His latest motion to vacate, filed Tuesday, argues that the June 2017 decision “was a properly made judgment in the appropriate forum, by a well-reasoned and fair jury, and accomplished justice,” and that the error “can be cured by a retrial.”

Cosby’s conviction and the judicial order that paved the way for him to be sent to prison was easy for the public to understand: he was a serial sexual predator, a man who delighted in drugging and assaulting women—including that beautiful and articulate young woman known for 20 years only as “Ms. A.” However, Cosby’s appeal argues that the case should not have proceeded because his trial should have been transferred from Montgomery County, which spans dozens of suburbs north of Philadelphia, to the state capital of Harrisburg, and because the jurors were deliberating too late to know if they had deliberated long enough for a fair trial. Because they didn’t know that the trial hadn’t started until four days after the trial began, they somehow wrongly decided that they’d reached a verdict within “allowing time for considering all relevant evidence,” which was zero hours. His appeal states, “The jury sat for 13 hours of deliberations, while the District Attorney demanded the jury continue to deliberate.”

There is also one other fact that Cosby’s trial manager, Joan Moriarty, claimed the jury didn’t know. In addition to sexual assault, the jury was also instructed on the charges of aggravated indecent assault and aggravated indecent assault. Both charges carry 30-year sentences if Cosby is convicted. On 1 April, Constand told the court that she wanted to keep her testimony secret from the press (she had earlier testified in testimony before the grand jury that indicted Cosby that, after the first time he assaulted her, she had “not felt safe” and that “he made me feel with each touch that I was worthless and only there for his sexual gratification.”). In his April 14, 2017, letter to the district attorney announcing that she was available to testify, Moriarty explained that Constand had informed her of her desire to have her testimony kept private. “Our client and her attorneys maintain that the victim impact statements have been confidential from publicity, which they had already advised Mr. Cosby’s lawyers,” she wrote. “As a result, Mrs. Constand did not want Mr. Cosby or his lawyers to have any further communication with our client and Ms. Moriarty denies that any such discussions occurred.”

When the jury went out, that right to have her testimony kept confidential didn’t kick in, because neither the court nor Cosby’s legal team had a way to keep the proceedings secret. As the case proceeded, CNN reported on 4 April, “[H]owever, the jurors had knowledge of those statements, which was something at least one of them would have had to understand.” Judge Steven O’Neill (a Democrat appointed by Republican former Governor Tom Corbett) revoked Constand’s option to keep her testimony private and overrode his former deputy district attorney’s recommendation of not having the jurors aware of the statements. He also gave the jury the option to decide for themselves what they understood.

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