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Judge Declares Mistrial in Bill Cosby Criminal Trial; District Attorney Speaks Following Cosby Mistrial; D.A.: "We Will Retry" The Cosby Case After Mistrial. Aired 11-12p ET
Aired June 17, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY, REPRESENTS SEVERAL COSBY ACCUSERS: -- be able to testify and on those two points, as a matter of law, that's why the prosecution argued that they should be allowed to testify. All right. Never give up. That's what I say to other sexual assault victims throughout the country. Never give in and never give up. Thank you.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We are following this breaking news on the Bill Cosby case. Just moments ago a judge declaring a mistrial in Cosby's criminal trial. That happened when the jury came to the judge after just one hour of deliberations this morning, telling the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked and unable to agree on a unanimous verdict.
The comedian had been charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Prosecutors had accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand back in 2004.
Despite the outcome the prosecution vows it will retry the case.
We have several correspondents and legal analysts covering this breaking news. Let's begin with CNN's Jean Casarez, who is outside the courtroom.
So, Jean, what are you learning about the reasoning behind this mistrial?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was -- they were hopelessly deadlocked, the words that you just used. I was in the courtroom, I witnessed it. The jurors walked in and they were focused, serious. Just noncommittal really in their look. But as they walked in I saw one young male juror look directly at Andrea Constand. A hard, strong look as he walked in.
Once they sat down, a female juror on the end closest to Andrea Constand looked at her. She was sitting in that courtroom with her mother. There was no reaction from Andrea Constand or her mother at all. There was really no reaction in the courtroom because the judge had apprised the packed courtroom before the jury came in that the jury had just sent a note saying that they were hopelessly deadlocked. What the judge did was he asked each juror one by one, is it so that
this jury is hopelessly deadlocked? And each one stood up and said yes, yes, your honor, yes. Some were louder, some were softer. I did see a Kleenex box passed at one point. But I don't know why but it was to a member of the jury. I don't know why it was in the middle of the proceeding.
The judge then said to this jury that he was forever grateful for as long as they deliberated, 52 hours, that he will always remember this jury that in the history of this courthouse, he believes that this is by far the biggest proceeding they have ever had and then the jury stood up, went into their room. The judge was going to come in later.
And that's when Kevin Steele, district attorney of Montgomery County, stood up and he said, your honor, we are retrying this case again. And the judge said that he wants to do it within 120 days, four months, and the defense, of course asked for that mistrial once again and this time the judge said, I grant it in the manner of manifest necessity -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: And now what about an explanation from the jurors? There are opportunities during some cases where jurors may be able to stand behind, talk to prosecutors or defense attorneys about the reasoning behind their feelings on a verdict. Did that happen in this case?
CASAREZ: Here's what was said in the courtroom. So I don't think we know the answer to that. The judge said to the jury, I cannot stop you from talking to the media, talking to the public, but I am going to tell you what you cannot talk about because jury deliberations are private. They are secret. They are not to be communicated about.
And the judge said you cannot talk about what people said, what views were, what points of view were, what votes were. He just went on and on about what they could not discuss. And then he said, it is -- at this point Kevin Steele had not stood up. He said it is up to the prosecution but there may be another jury out there at this point that may be a potential jury is what is he was trying to say.
When the jury left he said there's an outstanding motion that he will rule on. It sounded like what it had to do with was to whether to keep the jurors' names sealed. Now this is sort of a constitutional issue here but if there is another retrial within four months, that may give him some legal basis to deny the unsealing of their names.
WHITFIELD: Now, Jean, we did not hear from Bill Cosby. We did see pictures of him waving his arm, you know, pumping up the hand, you know, sign of victory.
[11:05:05] We did hear a statement read by his wife, Camille Cosby. You want to summarize the statement there, and she really did go after the judge in particular.
CASAREZ: That's right. Sensationalism, lies. Really, really discrediting the judge which was very interesting, because all of that has been kept in but now I think they felt that this was the time, this was the right time to give their opinions. This judge is a very respected judge in this courthouse. He has been a judge for a long, long time. He developed the drug court to help the -- those convicted of drug felonies, help rehabilitate them.
A very caring judge. A judge that made decisions on -- for the defense and for the prosecutor, both sides during the course of the pretrial motions. But it's interesting that we now know how at least Camille Cosby feels about Judge Stephen O'Neill.
WHITFIELD: All right, Jean Casarez. We'll check back with you. Thank you so much.
Let's talk more about this with our legal analyst, Laura Coates with us, Danny Cevallos, CNN's Michael Smerconish, and I believe -- is Paul Callan also with us? No? OK. So here we go.
So, Laura, you first. The reaction to this decision. This after learning for so many hours, this jury deliberated and had at least a dozen questions including asking to look again at the phone logs between Constand and Cosby. Also wanting to hear about a better definition of reasonable doubt. And then now a mistrial.
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I'm not surprised there's a mistrial given the length of the deliberations and also given the actual testimony that came in. Remember, the burden was on the prosecution to prove that this happened.
This is a very lengthy, delayed case in the sense this happened allegedly in 2004. You had little forensic evidence and you only had one other witness who was allowed to testify about a seemingly analogous scenario that allegedly happened to her. Of course, the court of public opinion had dozens and dozens of women who came forward to say that they, too, had been assaulted by Bill Cosby but the judge would not allow that testimony in.
So all you had was one other witness and Andrea Constand. And to that end, Andrea Constand was effectively undermined in terms of her credibility by the defense for a number of reasons. Number one, there were 72 alleged phone calls between Bill Cosby and Andrea Constand following the alleged assault. She asked for tickets to a comedy show and brought him a gift. Had her parents speak to him.
And also there was indication that she may have gotten the dates wrong and of course there was a civil settlement for an undisclosed financial amount. Those things were all taken into account, I'm sure, by the jury and certainly wielded by the defense not in an act of simply sociological victim blaming but as a way to put a hurdle in front of the prosecution to say we've got to undermine the credibility.
And that was apparently an effective tactic to at least plant a seed of doubt in the jurors' mind that said we cannot come to a conclusion about beyond all reasonable doubt that this actually happened.
WHITFIELD: So, Danny, I mean, Laura puts that out as though those would be, I would believe, considered by legal minds to be kind of obvious potential obstacles, these many phone calls that would follow an alleged assault, and that might be problematic for the prosecution in this case. So what do you suppose was the thinking behind the prosecution as to why they believed that the jurors would look at this thinking that these are not potential obstacles to proving the case?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the prosecution knew it was problematic. That's why they had an expert come in and testify as to why victims fail to report or report late or even continue to have contact. So that is a recognition by the prosecution that this was clearly going to be an issue.
Another recognition was seeking to introduce what we call 404b evidence in the first place, prior bad acts. They sought to admit about a dozen prior witnesses or really accusers of Cosby, they were permitted one. And generally, if your case is airtight, if it's that strong, if there's video of somebody robbing the bank, you don't need 404b evidence. It really only comes in, and again I'm a biased defense attorney, it really only comes in when the prosecution needs to bolster a case that they might have a little doubt about.
They are going to have to consider that as they move forward. Indeed, they have already decided to re-prosecute or retry the case without really examining why the jury went the way they went and where they were leaning.
WHITFIELD: So then, Michael Smerconish, on the phone with us, these perceived doubts or even holes in the case, why was that not hindrance enough for the prosecution to move forward, and then now already pledging to move forward with a retrial?
[11:10:08] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR, "SMERCONISH": Well, Fredricka, let me address the second of those because I think among your guests I'm the only one who is a taxpayer in the county in which this trial went on. And I'm kind of surprised that there would be a decision made so quickly without, as Danny said, more knowledge of as best you can determine how the votes broke down among those jurors and in light of the fact that the DA on whose watch the underlying acts allegedly occurred never thought there was enough to bring the case.
I'm surprised that already a decision was made and announced in court, we are going to do it all over again, right on the heels of the judge having said that it was the largest undertaking that could be placed on this county's criminal justice system. You would think that they -- you know, they'd want to assess the situation a little bit further before so quickly committing to that.
WHITFIELD: And OK, quickly, Laura, you know, this -- I heard you earlier talk about this being really a politically motivated kind of pursuit by the prosecutor who campaigned on, you know, bringing Bill Cosby to justice. And so is it that instinct in your view that is driving his promise to retry?
COATES: Absolutely. And that's not to say that simply there was absolutely no evidence by which to bring a case against Bill Cosby, but in reality this was a politically motivated prosecution because it was a campaign promise. The former DA who chose not to bring the case based on his own
assessment that there was not enough evidence to bring a criminal trial but fully supported Andrea Constand in her endeavor to pursue civil settlement or civil litigation with Bill Cosby, they were running against each other.
And one of the things that the current DA pointed out was that the former prosecutor was almost complicit in the acts by failing to prosecute Bill Cosby and vowed to do so. So at the very 11th hour, brought this particular prosecution against Bill Cosby just shy of the statute of limitations. So I'm not surprised that in a knee-jerk reaction, it was probably politically motivated the state's case, simply said of course I will re-bring this trial.
But I think it's probably more prosecutorial prudent to actually wait and say, let's figure out what we have, what were our shortcomings, are they -- are we able to overcome them and if I'm the defense counsel in this case I also want to examine what I did because there's no guarantee at this point that the holdout involving these cases was in favor of the defense. It could have been one shy of an actual prosecution or conviction. So after having said that, any decision was premature in my estimation and I think politically motivated.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And unclear whether it was one juror or there were several jurors.
COATES: Or many.
WHITFIELD: Exactly. All right. Laura, Danny, Michael, thanks to all of you. Appreciate it. We'll talk again.
Meantime, coming up next here, you're actually going to hear from one of Cosby's accusers and her attorney and get the reaction. Stay with us.
[11:17:13] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. We're following breaking news. The judge has declared a mistrial in the case against Bill Cosby in Pennsylvania. The prosecution vowing to retry the case. Take a listen to a member of Cosby's team reading a statement from Cosby's wife, Camille.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is going to read a signed statement from Mrs. Camille Cosby.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do I describe the district attorney? Heinously and exploitively ambitious. How do I describe the judge? Overtly arrogant in collaborating with the district attorney. How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? Totally unethical. How do I describe many but not all general media? Blatantly vicious entities that continually disseminated intentional omissions of truth for the primary purpose of greedily selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life.
Historically people have challenged injustices. I'm grateful to any of the jurors who tenaciously fought to review the evidence which is the rightful way to make a sound decision. Ultimately that is a manifestation of justice based on facts, not lies. As a very special friend once stated, truth can be subdued but not destroyed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. That statement of Camille Cosby, Bill Cosby's wife, being read there. Still no words directly from Bill Cosby himself.
Joining me right now is victims' rights attorney Gloria Allred. She also represents several women who have accused Cosby of aggravated indecent assault. And also with me is Linda Kirkpatrick, who is one of the accusers.
Thanks to both of you for joining me.
So, Gloria, to you first. Your reaction to the declaration of a mistrial.
ALLRED: Well, we can never underestimate the blinding power of celebrity but justice will come. I had hoped that the prosecutor would decide to re-file this case. He has decided to re-file it. I think one big problem in the current trial that just ended was that the prosecution wanted to call what we call 13 prior bad act witnesses. In other words, other accusers. And the court only allowed him to call one. That's my client, Kelley Johnson, who was very brave in testifying.
Now that there's going to be a new trial, I'm hoping that the court will allow more prior bad act witnesses, more accusers, to be able to testify so that the jury can take into consideration what their allegations are as well.
WHITFIELD: So --
[11:20:07] ALLRED: And I say to Mr. Cosby, it's way too early to celebrate, Mr. Cosby, because round two is coming and justice may be just around the corner.
WHITFIELD: So you feel fairly confident if there is indeed another trial that it will be the discretion of the next judge to potentially allow 13 witnesses, you know, 12 of which that this judge did not allow, and that might apply for a different footing of the case moving forward?
ALLRED: I think it will change the case if the court, whomever the trial judge is, does allow more accusers to testify because it could tend to prove and this is what the prosecution argued when it asked to be allowed to put on 13 witnesses, it could tend to prove what we call absence of mistake. In other words, that Mr. Cosby, if the jury believes that he did drug women and then sexually attacked them when they were incapacitated, that he knew that they would not be able to consent if they were incapacitated as a result of drugs.
And that he had a common scheme and plan in doing so. And that is really important. Under Pennsylvania law, the court could have allowed more accusers to testify but declined to do so, did not state why not. He did not state why only one would be permitted.
WHITFIELD: Is it your feeling that your client, Kelley Johnson, or perhaps even Andrea Constand who helped bring this case, will want to go through this again in another trial?
ALLRED: I haven't had an opportunity to speak to Kelley yet, but she's a very courageous young woman and so was her mother who testified. And I know that Andrea is also a very courageous woman. So my expectation is that if they are subpoenaed, that they will testify but I'll let Andrea speak for herself and I'll confirm that with Kelley but I'm sure she will always cooperate with law enforcement. That's who she is.
WHITFIELD: And Linda --
ALLRED: I want to say to any other sexual assault accusers out there, whether they are accusing Mr. Cosby or anybody else, never give in, never give up. Report to law enforcement, get yourself a private attorney to advise you, and remember, there can be justice in this type of case.
WHITFIELD: And Linda, you have also accused Cosby of sexual offenses. You were in the trial listening to testimony. What was that like for you to hear the testimony and now to hear the verdict of a hung jury?
LINDA KIRKPATRICK, ACCUSING COSBY OF ASSAULT: Well, rehearing testimony or hearing the testimony in this case is re-victimization for everyone that's ever been a victim of sexual assault and rape. It's painful, it's raw, it's real. We are not actors. We are real life people. This is our lives and when the verdict came down, I'm incredibly hopeful when the verdict -- when the district attorney said that he would retry the case. A mistrial is not a victory for either side. It's a nullification of this trial. So hope springs eternal.
WHITFIELD: And Gloria --
ALLRED: We will also say - -
WHITFIELD: Go ahead.
ALLRED: On June 27th, we are returning to Santa Monica court on our civil lawsuit which I'm litigating on behalf of Judy Huff who alleges in her lawsuit that Mr. Cosby committed acts of sexual misconduct against her at the Playboy mansion when she was only 15 years old.
WHITFIELD: And how does this outcome potentially impact that case? ALLRED: Well, we will have to see since the case is going to be
retried, as the prosecutor has indicated, whether or not the court will accept a trial date or not. The court has ordered Mr. Cosby to appear for his second deposition with us on that case. It may be that the court will delay his second deposition until after this second criminal trial.
WHITFIELD: Well, is it your view that the outcome of this case, whether there's a retrial or not, might impact other cases including that of the libel case against Bill Cosby involving, you know, actress Janice Dickerson, and then the case that also you are representing, do you see that this hung jury sends a signal or potentially impacts those other pending cases, civil or otherwise?
ALLRED: It does not. I believe it does not because in other words, the lack of a verdict either acquittal or conviction, does not give us the answer to what would happen in a second criminal trial.
[11:25:11] I will say this. There is a lower burden of proof in a civil lawsuit. In other words, we don't have to prove as much in a civil lawsuit. We don't prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt as is the burden of the prosecutor.
We need only prove our case by a lower standard. That's by a preponderance of the evidence or by clear and convincing evidence if we are seeking punitive damages. And those are lower burdens of proof. Not beyond a reasonable doubt which is up here for a burden. Much lower. So it's always possible, for example, in the case against Mr. O.J. Simpson where there was an acquittal in that criminal trial, but there was a finding of liability, in other words, the civil plaintiffs against him, the estate of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, were able to prevail in a civil case even though there was an acquittal in the criminal case.
WHITFIELD: All right. Gloria Allred, Linda Kirkpatrick, thanks to both of you ladies. Appreciate it.
ALLRED: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Coming up, the president of the United States taking another swipe at Obama-era policies. The new stance toward Cuba after Trump cancels what he calls a one-sided deal. Next.
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. Last hour, the district attorney in Pennsylvania announcing it will retry the criminal case against Bill Cosby and soon Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele will hold a live news conference to give his reaction to the mistrial. In fact, there they are, he and his team, who approached the microphone in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Again, a hung jury. Let's listen in to Kevin Steele.
KEVIN STEELE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: -- we are disappointed the jury was not able to come to a unanimous verdict in this case. We appreciate the extraordinary sacrifices that the jurors made coming all the way from Pittsburgh and deliberating and working for the time period they did.
This has been a long process to get to this point. We had to overcome a number of obstacles that were put in our way, a number of legal maneuvers by the defense to stop or delay this trial. We got to try our case and we got to be in a position where Andrea Constand and our other prior bad acts witness could testify in a court of law as to the facts of what happened to them.
We will evaluate and review our case. We will take a hard look at everything involved and then we will retry it. As I said in court, our plan is to move this case forward as soon as possible.
There's some good outcomes that have come from this. Despite the fact that the jury couldn't come to a verdict in this case, Andrea Constand and our prior bad acts witness got to face the defendant in court and got to tell what happened to them.
Too often, these types of crimes, sexual assaults, do not get reported, especially cases where a drug has been used in a drug facilitated sexual assault, an intoxicant so that a victim does not have a clear memory of what went on.
So we hope that doing this and moving forward in this case sends a strong message that victims of these type of crimes can come forward and can be heard on what has happened to them and they will have the prosecutors and investigators that are looking at those cases take a hard look at them and treat them with the respect that they deserve.
The other part of this is -- I think is so important is standing up for sexual assault victims. This is a case that we know has been important for sexual assault victims everywhere, but when we look at the case we have, we have one victim. We have Andrea Constand.
She has shown such courage through this and I think I share our thoughts on her, we are just in awe of what she has done and moved forward in this case. When we made the determination that we had talked about today of moving forward, it lies in the fact that she's entitled to a verdict in this case.
The citizens of Montgomery County, where this crime occurred, are entitled to a verdict in this case and we will push forward to try to get that done and get justice done. Our job in this, as prosecutors, we should take on the tough cases and we do, and we do it because it's the right thing to do.
[11:35:05]And in this case, there is no doubt in my mind and all of our minds that this was the right thing to do, so we will push forward.
I will also tell you that I feel very blessed to be in this position, because I am surrounded by an incredible group of people, a dedicated group of public servants who certainly aren't in this for the money. They are committed to doing what's right. I want to start with the two folks that are flanking me. So I don't know how much you know about their background, but they started at the same time in our office.
Coming up in August will be their fifth year as prosecutors so you all, as long as you were in the courtroom, got to see what I got to see and I am just incredibly proud of the two of them and how they stepped up.
I heard one question asked was this their only case. They are consistently carrying cases of about 200. Stu is the captain of our sex crimes unit. Kristen is the captain of our domestic violence unit and elder abuse.
They run their teams, they work very hard in each and every one of the cases they have, and they, I hope, make all the citizens of Montgomery proud of what they do.
Our appellate unit, Bob Fallon, who is the deputy district attorney, Adrian Jaffe, they aren't here because they are usually in the background on a lot of things, but the two of them and their team over across the way which sits right across the hall from where you all sit now, have kept up with everything the defense threw at us, every attempt to stop this up, the motions that were filed.
They have just worked and worked and worked to make sure that we could get to the point where we could go into a courtroom and try a case.
The other thing I would be remiss if I did not speak about is our law enforcement community and a number of the folks up here with us, Chief Gallon and I and Chief Frye from Cheltenham, cannot be more proud of our law enforcement community and everything they have done through this.
So Sergeant Schafer here, who has been with this since day one and everything that he did. This guy retired and he's still here. Harry and all the folks from Cheltenham who worked their tails off in this. Nothing but great things to say about them.
Mike Shade, Jim Reap, who are Montgomery County detectives, we are all just so proud of them. Deputy Chief Burnsteel behind Jim Reap, who had to manage a lot of the work the team did and again, the chief and I can't be more proud of all of them.
I also would be remiss if I didn't thank the attorney general's office for the help that they provided us in Pittsburgh, when we were out there selecting the jury, and the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, who helped us in every way they could and opened up their doors to us and worked with us and are just -- just show how law enforcement works together and the team approach that we attack all these issues with.
So at this point, I will take a few questions, but I will preface before I take these questions, we are retrying a case here, so there's things that I will not be able to get into and hopefully I can answer a few of your questions -- Laura.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What will you do differently next time, if anything? Will you seek to get even more prior bad acts witnesses in?
STEELE: Well, we have to re-evaluate the case. That's going to be part of the process. Now, we do that in most cases, when we are finished a case we take a hard look at things, see if there's things that we can improve upon.
[11:40:11]We felt really good about this case. We felt good about it on Friday when we closed our evidence and we felt good about it on Monday when we closed. So there's always tweaks and we can always do things better so that will be a self-assessment that we will go through. Jim?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you explain what goes into the time line of setting a new trial date?
STEELE: So the judge made some indications in court that he was looking to put this on within the next 120 days. What I expect in the near future is we will set a pretrial conference where we will meet with the judge and get a timeline of what we are going to do.
Legally I think we have 365 days to try the case, but we are going to push it along. As I indicated before, this is a case where the victim and our community is entitled to a verdict and we are going to work very hard to get to that. Carl, you got something? Are you just taping there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Essentially you are saying no regrets and we will do it again?
STEELE: We are going to retry the case. I said it in court. There was no pause or hesitation about that. We are moving forward.
STEELE: Let me go this way. Yes, ma'am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What failed and why so long?
STEELE: I don't look at this as anything other than a jury that deliberated a long period of time. We are confident in the case that we put on and we hope that we will be in a position where a jury will come to a unanimous verdict next time around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any idea how many holdouts there were, any idea where the jury was?
STEELE: You know as much as us about that. The court indicated that I believe. We have no indication of where anybody was on the case and I don't know that we will ever really know. We have to assess what we have done in the case and we will push it forward.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you exchange jury selection in the new trial? STEELE: We have to evaluate each of these things. Jury selection is a panel comes in, they are randomly selected for that panel, then you choose people that you believe can follow the law, that can look at this in an impartial way, and not bring any bias or sympathy to this. That's what we will strive to do next time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was Andrea Constand's reaction? Does she have (inaudible) to do this again?
STEELE: I mentioned before how courageous she is and I can't emphasize that enough. She is a positive person. She has kept all of us going through a number of days when we were waiting for a jury to come back. Last deadlocked jury I had was '92 or '93 so I'm not used to this. She has been positive in every way and continues to be, and she has indicated she will continue to cooperate with us and I look forward to her getting a verdict in the case. Yes, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you be selecting a different judge for the retrial?
STEELE: We don't select the judge. This is a judge who has been assigned to it, Judge O'Neill. He is the criminal administrative judge for the case and I expect that he will be our judge. He's the one that indicated in court that he wants to put this on in the next 120 days. So we anticipate that going forward. Yes, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next trial will likely be 2018, another year from when the incident occurred. Does that make it more difficult?
STEELE: Well, I think one of the challenges that we face in this type of case is the time period that has gone on. So that's just a reality of where the posture of this case stands, but it doesn't affect the evidence.
[11:45:10]And I think, I hope that if you sat through the court and the proceedings, you saw how powerful that evidence is and we have items of evidence that we put up in court that I think keep us very confident in getting to the right result. Yes, ma'am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Camille Cosby put out a statement --
STEELE: I'm not going to talk about Camille Cosby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, do you think the publicity of this case could potentially taint a new jury and what is it that you think may have gone wrong that at least one juror did not buy your case?
STEELE: I can't comment on how the jury was not able to come to a conclusion, and you all who were in court again saw the same things I do. I have no indications one way or another. You heard all the same questions that we heard so I have no insight to provide on that other than the case that we put together. Yes, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, are you concerned about --
STEELE: Go ahead. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has Andrea Constand told you in public that she is definitely willing to go at this again?
STEELE: As I said, she is just a very courageous person and indicated that she's going to cooperate with us moving forward. No, there's no doubt in my mind on that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just thanks for taking the time. I work for an African-American radio station. There were a lot of people in the African-American community out protesting today and they criticized your case as taking a case against Bill Cosby because you wanted to make a political point.
They didn't feel the evidence was there. How do you respond to people who say you are going to be trying a man a second time, you didn't get a conviction the first time, why do it the second time. Wanted to give you a chance to respond.
STEELE: Sure. Sure. As the court indicated in this, this is a do- over. We start again and just because a verdict was not reached in one case doesn't mean it won't be reached next time around. We don't know why it wasn't reached in this, but there's no guarantees as to a result in the case.
This is our system. We put it before a group of jurors and to the second part I think of your question there, this case is about a drug- facilitated sexual assault. It doesn't matter what you look like or who you are.
Our job is to follow the evidence where it takes us. We have done that. We have put together evidence that we got through every legal hurdle, meaning we got through a preliminary hearing on it, we got through a habeas on it. We got through appeals on it. We got through to a jury to deliberate.
So every legal hurdle shows that we had a significant amount of evidence to reach all those. Now we have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. The highest standard in the law and we intend to go back and do that. So that's what this case is about. It's about a drug-facilitated sexual assault.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There have been a number of diversions leading up to trial. The timeline is shortened having to retry within a year. How many of the judge's prior rulings apply in this next try of the case and how often do you expect those same issues or perhaps new ones to come up again?
STEELE: OK. This is where I wish our great folks from the appeals unit were standing next to me. As I said, I don't have a whole lot of experience being in this position, but it's my understanding that it's really a do-over.
In terms of the veneer, for example, we start back to where we began so it would have to be a new motion for change and going through each of those steps. Now, I anticipate if we have the same judge which I expect to have in this, that he's familiar with the legal issues. So that should expedite things a whole bunch with this and get us into the time frame to do this. But that's I guess the best way I can answer that. Yes, Jim?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not a cheap trial. There will be critics of the cost of the retrial. Your response?
[11:50:07]STEELE: You can't put a price tag on justice, and if you do, you're saying that because somebody's wealthy or famous, that they don't deserve the same kind of justice that everybody else does. And I hope from what we've done here in Montgomery County and will continue to do, that nobody is above the law.
This is a place, you know, where we are going to simply follow the evidence, where it takes us, to whomever it takes us, and make decisions that we believe are the right thing. And we have done that in this case. We will continue to do that in this case and you don't put a price tag on -- yes, ma'am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When we talk about a jury makeup, another jury, we heard a lot about how the citizens of Allegheny County were great stewards of the law. Are you concerned about wherever the next jury is coming from given the publicity of the case they cannot be impartial?
STEELE: So that's a challenge we faced on the first one. I think that's a challenge that we'll continue to face and the analysis is not necessarily that somebody doesn't know anything about the case, it's simply they can put aside whatever they know and then evaluate the case based upon what they hear in the trial.
So that's the standard that we operate and for those -- I know many of you made it out to jury selection. That's the questions that were asked again and again with this, and hopefully everybody will be honest with us about that and we'll be able to follow and that's the analysis that both sides during a jury selection have to go through and decide on. Yes, ma'am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The jury had an awful lot of questions in the last 52 hours do you think that it was presented in a way they could not retain the facts of the case? Was the point not clear?
STEELE: Were you in there for my closing? I thought it was clear how we lined it up and I -- I don't know. I don't know anything about what happened in that deliberation room, so I can't give you any insight other than that what you saw with that too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you clarify the timeline? Did the judge set the date within 120 days or the trial happens within 120 days.
STEELE: So the judge is the one that's going to dictate all the dates here. When he tells us -- when he -- when he tells us to be there, we'll be there and we'll have our witnesses there and ready to go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does 120 days mean?
STEELE: Something he said.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It seems like he said the court that trial would be in 120 days.
STEELE: He did. He did. We'll be geared up and ready to go on that. There's always things that could happen with that, though, in terms of, you know, defense motions or other things that may occur and I can't anticipate what they are going to be, but for us, we're going to continue to try to move the case forward.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, will you be considering the same charges or would you consider lesser charge?
STEELE: The charges are what they are and we -- we went with the charges that fit under the statute of limitations. So there's no underlying charge that comes with this. This is three counts of aggravated indecent assault and that's what we will continue with as we go through. Yes, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What challenges --
WHITFIELD: All right, you're listening to District Attorney Kevin Steele there, a pledge that they will retry the case in Bill Cosby after the jury said to the judge this morning they are hopelessly deadlocked. You heard from Steele there who said, quote, "we will evaluate and review our case and we will retry it." He also said that he hopes this sends a strong message to victims of these crimes that they can move forward.
Danny Cevallos back with us now. So he is taking a number of questions there, but there is no change in his promise that this case will be a retried. Why is he so confident in your view about retrying this case, same judge, possibly the same witnesses and material?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's an interesting thing. The district attorney said that no man is above the law and there's no price tag on justice. I would be interested to see how many 10-year- old allegations the Mont Co DA's office usually reevaluates year to year to decide whether or not to prosecute.
[11:55:11]It's nonsense to say this case was not special and did not have any particular meaning and different from ordinary cases in which the D.A. seeks justice. This was and is a political case. This district attorney ran on the promise of prosecuting Bill Cosby.
So it is not surprising immediately following the trial, he quickly says that he will continue to prosecute Bill Cosby. It was a campaign promise. Of course, I do not know what the D.A.'s motives are. I cannot look into his mind.
But the evidence seems to show that this was always something very important to this district attorney as a candidate for election, and perhaps he is also motivated by seeking justice for this particular complainant in this case, which again, was 10 years old, all but dropped and resurrected before the statute of limitations expires. If the Mont Co DA's Office does that with a lot of other non-famous cases then bravo to them.
WHITFIELD: All right, he called Andrea Constand who helped bring this case very courageous. He says it's his belief she would want to move forward with this, but really unclear what kind of participation, if at all, she might have in the retrying of this case.
All right, Criminal Defense Attorney Danny Cevallos, thank you so much. Appreciate it. We'll continue to monitor the remarks from the District Attorney Kevin Steele. The next hour of the NEWSROOM starts right after this.