The jury that will decide in June whether Bill Cosby is innocent or guilty of sexual assault will be drawn from Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh.
Cosby’s lawyers maintained that counties that contain major cities have people who have “more diverse and opposing viewpoints.”
In particular, “those larger markets, with populations in excess of 1.2 million people, for example.”
Only two counties fit that mark: Allegheny and Philadelphia.
Defense lawyer Michael Diamondstein, who has been observing the Cosby case, said the request by the defense team was a sound legal strategy.
“If you have 12 jurors and they all come from the same general socio-economic area, you generally have like-minded thinking,” he said.
Seeking more socio-economic diversity, Diamondstein said, is what Cosby’s attorney should be doing.
“Because It gives you a wider array of ideas and more opportunity to find someone to think the way that you think,” he said.
Allegheny County has about 40 percent more African-Americans than Montgomery County, but Diamondstein said a more diverse panel of any type, not just a more black jury, will benefit the defendant once known as American’s dad.
As a defense attorney, he said, jury diversity translates into, “more opportunity to find someone who thinks the way that you think.”
“I don’t know that America looks at Bill Cosby as an African-American. He’s everybody. He was everybody’s dad, and everyone watched the shows,” Diamondstein added. “Where are you going to find a panel of people in the United States of America who are competent to sit as jurors who haven’t heard what Cosby allegedly did?”
In addition to the accuser in the case, one other woman who also says she was assaulted by Cosby in a separate incident will be permitted to testify in the trial, where the 79-year-old former entertainer will be defending against three counts of aggravated indecent assault tied to an alleged 2004 encounter at his Cheltenham mansion.