NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CN) – A judge presiding over the sexual-assault case against Bill Cosby in Pennsylvania released the names Wednesday of the 12 jurors and six alternates from the comedian’s June mistrial.
Though Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill maintained that it was necessary for privacy interests and for a fair trial to keep the names confidential, he said the press’s First Amendment rights outweigh these interests post-mistrial.
The Philadelphia Media Network has been leading the charge to identify the jurors since Cosby’s trial kicked off on June 5.
During the six-day-long trial, and ensuing five days of deliberations, the jury was sequestered near the courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, about 300 miles away from their homes in Allegheny County.
On June 17, two days after O’Neill declared a mistrial, 11 other news outlets from The New York Times to Buzzfeed moved to intervene.
“Jurors shall not disclose anything said or done in the jury room by any of their fellow jurors that may indicate his or her thoughts or opinions;
“Jurors shall not disclose arguments or comments made, or votes cast, by fellow jurors during deliberations.”
Citing the commonwealth’s ongoing preparations to retry 79-year-old Cosby, O’Neill said future jurors should be secure in “their ability to deliberate freely and to feel secure in the protection of the privacy during their sworn service.”
Cosby’s first jury included four white women, six white men, one black woman and one black man. There were also one black man and one black woman in the pool of alternates, the rest of whom were white men.