The jurors in the Bill Cosby sexual-assault trial said on Thursday that they are deadlocked after four days of deliberations and are unable to come to any kind of decision on any of the counts the comedian is facing.
“We cannot come to a unanimous consensus on any of these counts,” the panel said in a note to the judge, according to NBC News.
According to multiple reports, Judge Steven T. O’Neill has ordered the jurors to go back and continue to deliberate.
Since Monday, the jury has been deliberating the evidence. The prosecution spent five days presenting evidence from Constand herself as well as expert witnesses, while the defense took just over six minutes to argue that Constand had consented to a relationship.
While many in the courthouse have been speculating about the jury’s progress, it has been couched under a thick veil of confidentiality — the jurors have been warned against talking to the media while judicial officials refused to tell The New York Times whether they are able to have a computer over the course of their sequester.
A sequestered jury is “not unlike being in a medium-security prison,” Paula L. Hannaford-Agor, director of the Center for Juries Studies at the National Center for State Courts, told the Times.
Over the last week, numerous commentators have compared Cosby’s case to the O.J. Simpson trial in 1994, which also drew extreme media attention and required a sequestered jury.
While there have been no clear indications on the progress of the deliberations, the jurors did ask to relisten to Constand’s testimony, in which she describes being given the pills, and asked for clarifications on the legal meaning of “without her knowledge” by Wednesday afternoon.
At the start of the deliberations, the jurors also wanted to revisit Cosby’s old descriptions of his relationship with Constand and the testimony of the Canadian police officer who took down Constand’s initial report back in 2005.
“At this point, we can assume there is some significant disagreement,” Michelle Madden Dempsey, a law professor at Villanova University told The New York Times. “But perhaps the length of deliberation simply reflects the fact that the jury is doing a thorough and thoughtful review and discussion of the issues.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the jury was showing “serious signs of fatigue” on Wednesday, and that one of the elderly members even looked like he was dozing off at one point.
“This is an incredible jury that has just acted with incredible dignity and fidelity,” O’Neill told the jury as he dismissed them Wednesday night. “I don’t have any higher praise. You have taken your task so seriously.”
On Thursday Cosby’s attorney made a motion for a mistrial, which Judge O’Neill denied and reminding the jury of their duty to try to reach a decision. He also added, “do not feel compelled to surrender your honest belief” of what the evidence showed simply to come to a verdict.