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Bill Cosby jury filled as defense alleges discrimination

Bill Cosby jury filled as defense alleges discrimination

"Since Cosby's first go-round, all courtroom participants - jurors, attorneys, judge - have been immersed in an intensive course on sexual violation", former-prosecutor Deborah Tuerkheimer told The Times, "The ways in which we evaluate the credibility of survivors has also shifted in important ways: from a default to doubt, to a greater willingness to believe". For the retrial, O'Neill has ruled jurors can hear from five additional accusers, giving prosecutors a chance to portray Cosby - the former TV star once revered as "America's Dad" for his family sitcom "The Cosby Show" - as a serial predator.

Steve O'Neill, the presiding judge in the Cosby trial, openly doubted that the exclusion of the black juror was based on discrimination, but he nonetheless made a decision to stop jury selection in order review the defense motion.

As Wednesday's (Thursday NZT) session got underway, a judge gave The Associated Press and other media organisations more access to jury selection.

Of the 12 seated jurors, two are black and 10 are white.

Here is everything else you need to know ahead of Cosby's retrial.

Cosby's lawyers complained during this trial's jury selection, alleging that prosecutors dismissed a black woman from the panel based on her race. He says the encounter was consensual.

In the end, all but one member of the new panel said that they were at least somewhat familiar with the sexual assault allegations at the center of the 80-year-old entertainer's first trial in Norristown last year. In the months since, the social climate has shifted as survivors of sexual assault have spoken out en masse as part of the #MeToo movement.

Two of the people who made the cut said they had no knowledge of the Cosby case.

Both women say they've read media reports about Cosby's case and the #MeToo anti-sexual assault movement.

Six alternates were chosen for Bill Cosby's upcoming retrial on Thursday.

Castor's lawsuit said Cosby paid Constand "well into the millions of dollars" in a settlement.

It's illegal for either side to use peremptory challenges - their chances to reject a potential juror without giving a reason - to keep someone off a jury exclusively on the basis of race, ethnicity or gender. Attorneys were expected to conduct further interviews with 28 individuals Tuesday. During another alternate's individual questioning, she said she had previously formed the opinion that Cosby was guilty, but she would be able to base her opinion of the defendant's innocence exclusively on the evidence presented in the case.

The woman said she could put aside her thoughts that Cosby is guilty. The camera showed the judge, prosecutors and defence lawyers, but not potential jurors who were being questioned as a group.

The accusation led to a tense argument in the Pennsylvania courtroom before the judge adjourned to discuss the matter, but he indicated he was unlikely to side with Cosby's lawyers.

The comedian was charged with three charges of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home outside Philadelphia in January 2004. One juror said the panel was split 10-2 in favor of conviction, while another said the group was more evenly divided.

Montgomery County President Judge Thomas DelRicci scheduled a Wednesday morning hearing on the news media's legal challenge.

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