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Cosby jury wants definition of reasonable doubt

Cosby jury wants definition of reasonable doubt”

"I may have been unclear in where we are right now", O'Neill said. This morning they asked the judge to explain further what is reasonable doubt and also asked if they could hear the part of his sealed testimony repeated.

After a short delay, the jury assembled in the courtroom with a question centered on Cosby's admitted use of quaaludes with women. Speaking under oath, Cosby said he acquired seven prescriptions for Quaaludes, the powerful sedative, in order to give them to women with whom he wanted to have sex. The comedian, 37 years her elder, twice made what she called "suggestive" passes at her, but she rebuffed him, she said.

Cosby, 79, is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from an encounter with Constand at his nearby home in 2004.

The portion of her mother's testimony where she talks about a 2½-hour phone conversation with Cosby, about a year after the sexual encounter.

The panel revealed it was at an impasse just after 11 a.m. Thursday, but Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill gave them what's known as a Spencer charge, reminding them of their duty to try as hard as they can to find consensus.

Judge Steven O'Neill says defense lawyers have made at least four requests for a mistrial as the deliberations have worn on.

Three of them pertain to wanting to review what Cosby said and another two are about the testimony of his accuser, Andrea Constand. And while there were many similarities between what Cosby and Constand contend happened that night, there is one key difference: Cosby has maintained it was consensual while Constand has insisted it was not.

During the trial, District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and co-prosecutors Kristen Feden and M. Stewart Ryan alleged Cosby was a trusted friend and mentor who took advantage of a woman in a "vulnerable state", plied Constand with "three blue pills" and sexually assaulted her at his Cheltenham mansion in mid-January 2004. But the day was not without more questions from the jurors.

He allegedly gave her pills that paralyzed her and left her unable to resist when he started touching her in his Philadelphia home.

The 12-member jury must come to a unanimous decision to convict or acquit.

The jurors went back to the deliberating room after having the Quaaludes testimony read back to them and listening again to the definition of reasonable doubt, the threshold that prosecutors must cross to win a conviction.

That's exactly what the judge hearing the Cosby trial has done.

"I want to reiterate how proud I am of each and every one of you", O'Neill said as he sent the jury back to the hotel.

University of Pennsylvania law professor David Rudovsky, a criminal lawyer in Philadelphia, said Thursday that the jurors' inability to agree on a verdict didn't surprise him, given the nature of a case that boiled down to Cosby's word against his accuser's and the legal meaning of consent.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are sexual assault victims unless they grant permission, which Johnson has done.

The prosecution spent five days laying out evidence from Constand herself as well as expert witnesses, while the defense took just over six minutes to argue that Constand had agreed to sleep with Cosby.



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