By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)
The jury remains deadlocked in the Bill Cosby trial, as it seems increasingly obvious that the judge in the case is trying 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 the jurors to resume deliberating, after working for 12 hours, O’Neill sent them out and two minutes later called for them to return and be dismissed for the night.
At least two onlookers—perhaps the only two individuals who arrived without a rooting interest in the case that were allowed inside the courtroom—concluded that the judge was attempting to “play mind games” with the panel. To them, it appeared that, like prosecutors and the growing number of Andrea Constand supporters inside the courtroom, O’Neill will stop at nothing to not only get a verdict, but a guilty verdict.
O’Neill’s many questionable and certainly appealable rulings aside, the forcing of his will upon a clearly exhausted and sequestered jury, who 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 said to the judge, who promptly denied the motion.
Also, as the media-filled courthouse awaited word from jurors Thursday, Cosby’s accuser, Constand, a former basketball player, was somehow allowed to set up a basketball hoop and filmed herself shooting baskets somewhere inside the courthouse.
Outside the courthouse, some of the iconic comedian’s accusers—none of whom have ever brought criminal charges against Cosby—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.
Also, on Thursday, sheriff deputies reportedly retrieved a noose from a man in front of the courthouse and, 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.”