The jury remains deadlocked in the Bill Cosby trial as the judge in the case tries to coax — or perhaps force — a decision from jurors.
Judge Steven O’Neill appeared angry — or frustrated — at 9 p.m. Thursday as jurors filed into the courtroom, although he continued to compliment the 12-member panel from Pittsburgh on the work they’re doing.
After inexplicably telling them to resume deliberating despite their already having been working for 12 hours, O’Neill minutes later called for them to return and then dismissed them for the night.
The judge’s many questionable and certainly appealable rulings aside, the forcing of his will upon a clearly exhausted and sequestered jury which has astonishingly deliberated for more than 40 hours has been nothing short of telling.
“We move for a mistrial,” Brian McMonagle, Cosby’s lead attorney told the judge, who promptly denied the motion.
Also, as the media-filled courthouse awaited word from jurors Thursday, Cosby’s accuser, former basketball player Andrea Constand, was somehow allowed to set up a mini basketball hoop and record herself shooting baskets somewhere inside the courthouse.
Video, photos and ball playing in the courthouse presumably are prohibited.
Outside the courthouse, some of the iconic comedian’s accusers — none of which have ever brought criminal charges against Cosby or until recently had even alleged wrongdoing — have argued with Norristown residents about their position and a hired actress walked around the courthouse accompanied by two drummers to express their support for the women.
On Thursday, sheriff’s deputies reportedly retrieved a noose from a man in front of the courthouse. Later, courthouse security had to chase skateboarders away.
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt has repeatedly said the comedian and his representatives have only asked for a “fair and impartial trial. A fair shot.”
The deck has been so thoroughly stacked against Cosby that a deadlocked jury and possible mistrial has to feel like a victory.