Reaction To Cosby Case

Jun 17, 2017
Originally published on June 17, 2017 12:36 pm
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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Earlier this morning, the judge presiding over the Bill Cosby case declared a mistrial. The jurors could not reach a unanimous decision after more than 50 hours of deliberation, announcing they were hopelessly deadlocked. Cosby was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at her home - at his home - pardon me - in 2004. Prosecutors are saying they will retry the case on all counts. Goldie Taylor is editor-at-large at The Daily Beast, and she's been following the case. Goldie, welcome to the program.

GOLDIE TAYLOR: Good morning. Thank you.

BLOCK: Goldie, 60 - some 60 women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. This is the one case to come to trial. Are you surprised by this deadlock today?

TAYLOR: Unfortunately, while I am disappointed, I am not surprised that you could not find 12 jurors based on the facts and evidence in this case who would convict Bill Cosby of rape. And so, again, while I am not surprised, I'm certainly disappointed.

BLOCK: And disappointed why?

TAYLOR: Disappointed that there are a number of factors driving the notion that he couldn't be convicted. Number one, there are some 60 women who have stepped forward to allege that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them over the course of some 50 years. There is not today in my mind at least, as a layman, a case that exists that stands within the statute of limitations that has physical evidence, corroborative evidence, the kind of testimony you would need to convict him.

And so that's a failing on us as a society - that we don't have a culture in which a woman or man would come forward and make allegations that would be believed by local law enforcement, that will be believed by families, that will be believed by significant others, that will be believed in a court of law. And so it is, you know, very difficult to make the conviction on rape, you know, especially on evidence like this that is, you know, frankly quite old.

BLOCK: After the mistrial was declared, Bill Cosby appeared outside the courthouse. He did not speak to reporters, but a family associate read a scorching statement written by Cosby's wife, Camille. She called the prosecutors heinously and exploitively ambitious. She called the judge overtly arrogant and collaborating with the district attorney. She called the media blatantly vicious. What do you make of that?

TAYLOR: You know I have for many reasons refrained from responding to or making characterizations about Mrs. Cosby because, in my mind, she, too, was a victim. And so I don't - you know, I don't have, you know, some direct response to her. But what I will say is that I applaud this prosecutor, this judge, this young woman who came forward for at least attempting to uphold what we believe was the rule of law - that equal protection applies to Mr. Cosby just as it does to the victim in this case. And so my hat's off for them for bringing the strongest case that they possibly could. I understand this morning that they are going to retry this case.

BLOCK: Yes.

TAYLOR: And, certainly, that always favors the prosecution because, you know, the defense has tipped its hand. But if you remind yourself, Mr. Cosby put on a single witness for six minutes in this case as his defense. And so I'm not even hopeful that a retry will wind up in a conviction. But the truth is Mr. Cosby's hour as a heralded, iconic, you know, global comedian entertainer - that part of his life is over.

BLOCK: OK. Goldie Taylor, I am afraid we have to stop there. Thank you so much for joining us. Goldie Taylor, editor-at-large with The Daily Beast, thanks so much.

TAYLOR: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.