PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania judge on Friday released the names of the jurors who convicted Bill Cosby of sexual assault last month, saying he had waited more than three weeks after the verdict to do so because he wanted to give the jurors a “cooling off” period to return to their lives without being bothered by the media.
Even so, Judge Steven T. O’Neill of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas said in his ruling that the privacy of the jurors had already been compromised by attempts on the part of some news organizations to obtain interviews after the verdict.
As one example, he cited an unnamed news media outlet that had attempted to interview six jurors at their homes and by telephone on Sunday, Mother’s Day.
But in a written order, the judge said he was bound by a 2007 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that the media has a constitutional right to the jurors’ names, as had been argued by lawyers for 13 media organizations, including The New York Times. The news media had pressed for the immediate release of the names after a verdict.
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