In a surprise twist, lawyers for Bill Cosby argued Tuesday that prosecutors were excluding white males of a certain age from serving on the embattled comedian’s jury in his upcoming sex assault retrial.
The motion, called a Batson Challenge, can be raised during jury selection if one side feels the other is excluding a group of people for reasons of race, gender or age. It is typically applied to those considered to be in a protected class shared by the defendant in a case.
Cosby is 80 years old and African-American.
“You’re saying that white males are a protected group?” Montgomery County Court Justice Steven O’Neill asked incredulously after defense lawyer Kathleen Bliss cried Baston. “They are not a traditionally considered a minority group.”
Bliss later amended her argument to say that prosecutors were excluding men “over 50.”O’Neill ruled he didn’t see a basis for her argument at this time.
The motion appeared to be an attempt on the defense’s part to challenge a prosecution strike that resulted in the dismissal of a white, middle-aged man who said he thought “a lot of people jumped on the bandwagon” of the #MeToo movement.
Seven jurors, five white and two black— including two middle-aged white men — have so far been selected.
Cosby stands accused of drugging and molesting former Temple University basketball administrator Andrea Const and in 2004.His first trial, last June,ended in a hung jury following nearly 60 hours of deliberation.
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