Cosby Lawyers Accuse Prosecutors of Racial Bias

11 jurors have been chosen
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 24, 2017 1:22 AM CDT
Cosby Lawyers Accuse Prosecutors of Racial Bias
Bill Cosby, right, leaves after attending the second day of jury selection in his sexual assault case at the Allegheny County Courthouse, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Pittsburgh.   (Gene J. Puskar)

Bill Cosby's lawyers accused Pennsylvania prosecutors of trying to systematically keep black people off the jury Tuesday after prosecutors used their strikes to send two black women home, the AP reports. Judge Steven O'Neill rejected the argument after prosecutors said the second woman was a former Pittsburgh detective who sued the city after she was arrested in a public scandal. They said the case raised doubts about her credibility. O'Neill said he would revisit the issue if defense lawyer Brian McMonagle, who had accused prosecutors of "a systematic exclusion of African-Americans," offered any statistical evidence to back that up.

Cosby, whose trial begins June 5, is charged with drugging and molesting a Temple University women's basketball team manager at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. Of the 11 current jurors, one is black. The jurors selected Tuesday 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. The jury now consists of seven men and four women. Two men selected Monday said they or someone close to them had been sexually assaulted, but they insisted they could judge the case fairly. (Read more Bill Cosby stories.)

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