As reported by The New York Times yesterday, the Case against famed comedian Bill Cosby, with three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand in 2004, officially came to a halt as the jury announced they were unable to reach a verdict. The news comes after months of intense media coverage and with the backbone of 60+ women that have accused Cosby of similar behavior.

The mistrial was declared after six days of jury deliberation, sometimes for 12 hours a day. Judge Steve T. O'Neill had previously ordered the jury to attempt to reach a verdict, but not to sacrifice their true beliefs and convictions about the case simply to achieve one.

After declaring the mistrial, O'Neill has ordered that the jury keeps details about their deliberations private and belonging solely to the jurors present at the trial.

What comes next

The next step in the process following a mistrial is that the prosecution has to choose whether or not to retry Cosby on the charges. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele has vowed to do so. What were some considerations? Cosby's age, his health, and his reputation.

  • Cosby did not take the stand during his own defense, and it's unclear why. Most likely, the defense decided that a cross-examination would open up too many holes in the story or allow an opening for the consideration of the other accusations leveled at Cosby without charges being filed. It also could be that, due to Cosby's age, he could not be trusted on the stand to not incriminate himself. Cosby's age also plays into an understanding that if convicted, he would die in prison.
  • Cosby is currently battling blindness and it appears that the prolonged legal battle is doing him no favors.
  • Cosby's reputation is in shambles, and it is accurate at this point to presume his career is dead.

Constand's testimony

Another consideration might be the strength of Andrea Constand's testimony, which the prosecution would have chosen because they believed it to be the strongest case.

If the strongest case ended in a mistrial, that could very well bode ill for other possible avenues for the prosecution. At some point, Steele may have to make a choice based on these considerations of whether or not the destruction of a man in the court of public opinion is fair recompense for a legal battle he may not be able to win.

There is no doubt that would be a disappointing answer for the other women who hoped this was the best chance for justice, but it's becoming clear that the true end of this trial will be a Pyrrhic victory for all, at best.