Defense Objects to Mostly White Jurors in Cosby Case as Selection Process Begins
Only one of the jurors deciding Bill Cosby's fate is black.
The 12 people who will decide the fate of Bill Cosby have nearly all been picked ahead of the disgraced comedian's sexual assault trial in Pennsylvania.
One of the jurors is black — a woman in her 30's — and five of the jurors are white men in their 20's or early 30's.
Another juror says he knows nothing about the Cosby case because he only watches sports.
Two additional jurors are middle-aged white women.
The selection of the jury has led Cosby's lawyers to claim the prosecution was systematically excluding' African-Americans from the jury, but Judge Steven O'Neill rejected the argument.
"We believe this is systematic exclusion of African-Americans," defense lawyer Brian McMonagle complained about the jury selected in the Montgomery County courthouse. "We believe it is of paramount importance we seat a diverse jury."
Cosby, 79, has been present in the courtroom for jury selection the entire time. At one point he even asked a potential juror to speak up as he was having trouble hearing her.
Protecting the identity of the 11 jurors selected so far is a major concern at the courthouse.
Each one was led in for Q&A session with the judge at a table across from the judge and Cosby. Each potential juror sat in high-backed chair with their backs to the media to help conceal their appearances and identities.
Opening arguments are set to begin June 5.
Cosby is standing trial for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, an assistant basketball coach at Temple University, in 2004.
Cosby has denied all allegations against him.
The jurors will be sequestered at a hotel for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last two weeks. They'll be allowed access to TV, iPads and the internet, but they must avoid all news reports about the trial.
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