Media fights back after Cosby prosecutor tries hiding jurors by comparing case to Casey Anthony

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele is fighting the media's request to obtain the names of those who served as jurors on the Bill Cosby trial, a right protected and guaranteed by First Amendment of the the United States Constitution -- compares the case to Casey Anthony.

Bill Cosby (Getty Images) Casey Anthony (Associated Press)
Bill Cosby (Getty Images) Casey Anthony (Associated Press)

Though the trial that shocked the nation came to a rapid end last week after a Montgomery County jury found comedian Bill Cosby guilty of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand nearly 18 years ago, District Attorney Kevin Steele is now focussed on hiding the jurors from the media, comparing the case to one of the most controversial cases in American history — State of Floria v. Casey Marie Anthony.

This bizarre stunt by Kevin Steele comes after the media filed a motion seeking access to the names of those who served as jurors on the Bill Cosby trial, a request that Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele didn’t fight following the first trial that resulted with a hung jury.

“The motion is an effort to somehow rewrite the United States Constitution,” an attorney tells us. “What shocks me most is that he had no problem releasing the names of those who failed to reach a verdict but doesn’t want to release the names of those who convicted him. There’s no public outcry. There aren’t any riots. What is he hiding?”

“Indeed, in State of Florida v. Casey Anthony, a highly-sensationalized trial on which a young mother was charged with murder and related offenses in connection with the death of her young daughter,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele wrote in a motion Thursday in an attempt to paint an odd comparison to the trial of Bill Cosby and Casey Anthony.

Steele cited the court granted jurors in the Casey Anthony case a 90 day “cooling off” period.

Last year when the comedian’s trial ended with a hung jury, Steele did not fight back when the media filed motions asking Judge Steven T. O’Neill to release the names of jurors, a right protected and guaranteed by the First Amendment and upheld in previous cases by both the Pennsylvania and United States Supreme Courts.

Steele’s main argument is that jurors wish to remain anonymous, relying on a joint statement by jurors:

“While we are honored to have taken on this unique and important task, and are proud of the job we did, we are anxious to return to our normal lives and ask for privacy and respect as we turn our attention back to the colleagues, friends, and family whose sacrifices in our absence were, in many cases, larger than our own.”

Despite the fact that select jurors made appearances on national television immediately following the verdict, Steele argues their identities should be concealed. The one word question that many have — why?


Juror Privacy & Jury Safety

When the not guilty verdict was rendered in State of Florida v. Casey Anthony, it left thousands outraged as people believed those jurors had let a child-murderer go.

Though there was some public outcry at Cosby’s initial trial which ended with a hung jury, there was no argument on those jurors welfare, safety or privacy.

Several major media outlets vigorously defended their constitutional right to have access to the names of the Cosby jurors, stating that the Casey Anthony trial involved markedly different circumstances, including specific threats made to juror safety.

Immediately after the verdict was read, a large crowd gathered at the courthouse complex. Many, if not all, were outraged and distressed by the verdict, and were not hesitant to show their contempt for the jurors. Many held hand-written signs indicating their displeasure with the verdict, including that read “Juror 1-12 Guilty of Murder!!!”; “Somewhere a Village is Missing 12 Idiots”; “Arrest the Jury!! No Balls.” … It was publicly reported that one juror had been forced to quit work and leave the state because of threats she had received. The Court, via court staff, confirmed with the juror involved that she had left the state and has remained out of the state since the verdict was rendered.

Attorney Michael Berry who represents ABC, The Associated Press, BuzzFeed, CNN, CBS, NBC Universal, The New York Times amongst others wrote in a motion Thursday evening “The jury reached its verdict over a week ago. Every day that passes without granting the press and public the “immediate access” to the juror names to which they are constitutionally entitled, the ‘value of openness itself’ – a fundamental pillar of our judicial system – ‘is threatened,'” citing a Supreme Court decision in United States v. Simone.


Cosby Prosecutor Compares Casey Anthony to Bill Cosby

In the lengthy motion filed Thursday, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele added old articles that followed the Casey Anthony murder trial, one titled “Clearwater chili restaurant tells Casey Anthony jurors they are not welcome” and a photo of a woman holding up a poster with “JUROR 1-12 GUILTY OF MURDER!!!” written on it.


Casey Anthony v. Bill Cosby

“Apples and oranges isn’t remotely close when it comes to comparing Cosby and Casey Anthony,” Quran, a daily spectator of the trial told us. “You’re comparing the Casey Anthony trial which had hundreds of protesters and millions of outraged people to a trial that had one or two protesters.”

For those who attended the Bill Cosby trial for more than one day, it was evident that the same four protesters would stand outside of the courthouse in an effort to make it seem much more action-packed than it was. Two of those protesters, Lili Bernard and Victoria Valentino identified themselves as Cosby “survivors,” stating that they too were assaulted by the comedian but never filed charges. The third was a Bill O’Reilly “survivor” and the third-wheel woman who was not a survivor nor victim, Bird Milliken otherwise known as Bubble Lady.

Protesters gathered outside of the courthouse where Casey Anthony was standing trial for murder (top) versus the protester outside of the courthouse where Bill Cosby was standing trial with Bird Milliken aka Bubble Lady (bottom).
Protesters gathered outside of the courthouse where Casey Anthony was standing trial for murder (top) versus the protester outside of the courthouse where Bill Cosby was standing trial with Bird Milliken aka Bubble Lady (bottom).

Dozens of protesters gather following the verdict of Casey Anthony outside of the courthouse (top) versus the aftermath of the Bill Cosby verdict depicting media working on the steps of the Montgomery County Courthouse.
Dozens of protesters gather following the verdict of Casey Anthony outside of the courthouse (top) versus the aftermath of the Bill Cosby verdict depicting media working on the steps of the Montgomery County Courthouse.

Cosby Prosecutor Kevin Steele’s Motion


Media Fights Back: This is no ‘Casey Anthony’