Cosby Lawyers Hope to Prescreen Jurors for Bias

Cosby Lawyers Hope to Prescreen Jurors for Bias

Before heading to trial on June 5, lawyers representing famed entertainer push for prescreening of jurors

by #TEAMEBONY with AP, March 20, 2017

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Cosby Lawyers Hope to Prescreen Jurors for Bias

Bill Cosby arrives for a preliminary hearing at the Montgomery

Attorneys representing famed actor and comedian Bill Cosby in his sex abuse trial are reportedly hoping to prescreen jurors to weed out bias.

The lawyers are seeking to do so before jury selection for the controversial sex assault trial begins in person.

A defense motion filed Monday says the “inflammatory” worldwide coverage of the case has probably left some potential jurors with opinions about the actor’s guilt or innocence.

They also say pretrial questionnaires have been used before in celebrity trials.

In this particular case, the 79-year-old is charged with drugging and molesting former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, at his house in 2004. Cosby says the sex acts were consensual.

More than 50 women have accused The Cosby Show actor of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them and prosecutors will be tasked with showing that Cosby had a pattern of committing such atrocities. District Attorney Kevin Steele said the prosecution had “investigated nearly fifty women allegedly victimized” by Cosby. In a motion, he asked the court to allow evidence from 13 of them as “prior bad acts.”

Defense attorneys representing Cosby are fighting to keep the women out of court, adding that Cosby “can no longer defend himself” because he is going blind and is unable to recognize his accusers.

“Compounding the problem are the vague allegations of many of the accusers about the time and place of the alleged incidents,” his attorneys, Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa, said in an October motion filed to once again attempt to dismiss the charges.

He is set to go on trial June 5 near Philadelphia. The jurors will be chosen from the Pittsburgh area because of pretrial publicity and sequestered about 300 miles near the Montgomery County courthouse.

Cosby’s lawyers want to send pretrial questionnaires to 1,500 to 2,000 potential jurors.

 
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