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Ten of the prospective jurors were Black; eight women and two men.
In all 53 women and 37 men were among the Allegheny County residents questioned as prospective jurors.
A preliminary witness list the judge read didn’t include the big Hollywood names that many anticipated.
The judge read the name Diahann Carroll, the actress who won a Golden Globe in 1968 for Best Actress in a Television Series and who became the first African-American to earn an Emmy nomination in 1969.
Women’s rights attorney and perpetual Cosby nemesis Gloria Allred also made the witness list, as well as several law enforcement officers, doctors and Andrea Constand, whose 2003 accusations that Cosby drugged her and raped her in his home near Philadelphia led to the star being charged with three counts of sexual assault.
The trial is set to begin on June 5 in Montgomery County, 300 miles away from Pittsburgh where the jury selection is taking place.
When jurors were asked if they or a close relative or close friend have ever been a victim of sexual assault, 35 of the 100 jurors said, “Yes.”
Fourteen of the jurors said the nature or references to sexual assault would prevent them from being fair and impartial; sixty-seven of them said that being sequestered and the expected two to three week duration of the trial would create an undue hardship.
However, O’Neill said that while the jury will be sequestered, they will be allowed to use their cell phones, watch television and use other devices that they normally would.
He also said that they’d still have to abide by their sworn oath not to form any opinions, talk to anyone about the case and reach a decision based on evidence presented in court only.
Thirty-four prospective jurors said Monday that they had already formed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of Cosby and 25 said the nature of the charges against him would prevent them from being fair and impartial.
Cosby arrived in the courtroom flanked by his attorneys and being helped to his seat by his assistant and spokesman Andrew Wyatt.
During the morning proceedings, Cosby occasionally brushed his eyebrows with his hands and smiled at times at some of the judge’s quips to jurors.
It’s sad to see the lack of any attempt by the mainstream media to simply do its job, which is to merely report the facts, without any spin or bias.
The only ones, who are winning in this false debate are the Russians. As I wrote in my column two months ago, Russia has released a psychological operations campaign against our country and it is having its desired effect—to destabilize our country. Psy-ops are another form of warfare that causes a nation’s people to doubt the trustworthiness of its various institutions: political, corporate, religious, etc.
Once a nation begins to distrust its leadership, total collapse can’t be far off.
While we are debating Comey’s firing and Russia’s so-called meddling in our elections, does anyone realize that Russian president Vladimir Putin is asserting extraterritorial authority in his attempt to make legal claims of ownership to vast portions of the North Atlantic (off the coast of Alaska) and the Arctic, even though this area has historically been considered international waters.
This part of the North Atlantic has untold oil and gas resources and would be an extremely profitable shipping route for global business. Russia’s Northern Fleet is attempting to secure the northern sea route between the Atlantic and the Pacific.
So, please allow me to deconstruct the phony arguments being promulgated by all the radical liberals from mainstream media, the talking heads and wayward politicians.
The President of the United States has the absolute power and authority to hire and fire the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to an amendment to the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, Title VI, Section 1101. Prior to this amendment, the director was nominated by the U.S. Attorney General.
I find it quite ironic that even Comey acknowledged that the president had the authority to fire him. In a letter sent to FBI employees the day after his firing, Comey said, “…I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all…”
The first director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, served from the founding of the agency in 1924 to 1972 with unchallenged power.
Former President Barack Obama appointed Comey to head the bureau in 2013 for a statutory term of ten years, so Comey had six years left on his term. The ten-year term was established in the aftermath of Watergate as a part of the Crime Control Act of 1976.
Does anyone really believe that if Trump had fired Comey immediately after he was sworn in, the mainstream media and their liberal sycophants would not have tied it to Russia? So, I have absolutely no issue with Trump’s actions; but I do have a major problem with his lack of a communications strategy. The public fallout over the Comey issue should have been easily anticipated and an appropriate communications plan should have already been in place.
Another argument being pushed by Democrats is that we are now facing a “constitutional crisis” along the lines of Watergate. Are you kidding me?
Can somebody please tell me how in the hell can we have a constitutional crisis when the president used the very power conferred to him by the very U.S. Congress that is making the bogus charge?
There is a big difference between Trump’s actions, the firing of Comey, and his verbiage regarding the firing.
The president was well within his rights to fire Comey with or without cause as established above. The communications strategy behind his act has been horrendous, but the mainstream media is trying to conflate the two.
The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) has stated emphatically that there has been no evidence of Trump or his campaign colluding with the Russians about anything. There may be investigations going on that we are not aware of and if there is, we shouldn’t know.
The mainstream media knows full well that the controversy surrounding the Comey firing is ALL political, not legal. Optically and politically, there was never going to be a good time to fire Comey.
There is absolutely no question that there is no legal issue with Trump’s actions and everyone knows it, but for the mainstream media to create this mass hysteria with the constant invoking of “Watergate” is simply another example of how the mainstream media has proven, once, again that it is totally incapable of being an objective reporter of the facts.
And to my weak-kneed, spineless Republicans: When you caved to the silly demands of the Democrats to appoint a special prosecutor, you basically handed them the House and Senate in 2018, and quite possibly the White House in 2020.
Is that really what your constituents sent you to Washington to do? I don’t think so.
Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit www.bafbf.org. You can follow Raynard on Twitter @Raynard1223.
We know that throughout the world, here in the U.S. as well as India, most perpetrators of violence and crime in any country are homegrown. Statistics reveal that most crimes are committed by people who are known to their victims. And yet we continue to treat racial and religious minorities, immigrants and refugees, and the poor as scapegoats for these crimes. The "other" - the outsider – is easily cast as a vile predator capable of harming us or draining our wealth.
The fear of the unknown might make some feel vulnerable. Fair enough, but beyond this fear of harm there seems a greater fear, the fear of humiliation that stems from being violated by an outsider, someone seen mostly as inferior or pitiable. It seems too hurtful to the fragile collective ego of the majority. The fact that a small percentage of people own over 90% of wealth on an average in almost every country in the world doesn't seem to bother many as much as the imagined depletion that some people in need could cause to national reserves. Over and over we see that isolated expressions of assertion or emancipation by the marginalized evoke more resentment than the obscene display of power and wealth by some, right in the face of misery and deprivation. Ironically, the powerful, privileged majority imagine themselves as victims by exaggerating the capacities of people in need and thus ascribe to them a non-existent power.
It is not greed alone that compels one to be unjust, but also certain notions of power that overwhelm one's sense of self to feel superior by dominating and disempowering the less-powerful other. Many cultures and nations have these ideologies of power at their foundations. Most religions, through their institutional expressions, have been their nurturing grounds for this dynamic. The person who does not belong to the fold is the "other" - incomplete, ignorant and doomed. The current fundamentalist religious resurgence is once again baring this demonic potential of religion. An imagined enemy, even if weak and vulnerable, is crucial for right-wing politics. These values overwhelm our common sense today.
Justice, as a value guiding all human interaction, is also a state of consciousness shaped by one's sense of being in relation with the other – people and all of God's creation. These values provoke our conscience and evoke conscious efforts to safeguard the interconnectivity of life. Justice, therefore, is not only sought in political and economic spheres but is required if we are to transform belief systems, worldviews and cultures. These are challenges that the progressive forces in all religions can alone address. We must nurture a morally and emotionally healthy human community and we cannot allow God's vast and diverse creation to be distorted and destroyed by the pathological obsessions of those who want to feel superior by denigrating and decimating others.