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What happens if the Cosby sexual assault trial ends in a hung jury

What happens if the Cosby sexual assault trial ends in a hung jury

Jun 15, 2017, 5:44 PM ET

PlayTracie Van Auken/EPA

WATCH Bill Cosby jury deadlocked as tempers flare outside the courthouse

The jury for Bill Cosby's criminal trial is currently deadlocked on a verdict and is continuing deliberations as ordered by the judge.

After deliberating for more than 30 hours, the jury has still not come to a unanimous decision as to whether the famed comedian sexually assaulted accuser Andrea Constand in 2004.

Read: Bill Cosby jury deadlocked, ordered to keep deliberating by judge Related: Bill Cosby: What's next for the comedian

Cosby faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, which each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The former "Cosby Show" star, 79, pleaded not guilty and has repeatedly denied allegations of wrongdoing.

The jury has deliberated for 12 hours each day since Monday. After the jury told the judge Thursday morning it was deadlocked, he instructed the jurors to return to the jury room and re-examine their positions and opinions on the case.

Each jury deadlock announcement is met with a defense motion for a mistrial. This morning’s motion was denied by the judge. But Cosby's attorneys can pressure the judge to declare a mistrial.

Dan Abrams, chief legal correspondent for ABC News, said deadlocks and hung juries are not that uncommon.

The jury has asked six follow-up questions during their deliberations, including the "full context" of quotes Cosby gave in a deposition from 2005 and 2006, and a read-back of Constand's initial report to police in 2005.

"It's pretty clear what the jurors are doing, they are battling back there," Abrams said.

If the trial ends in a hung jury, then Cosby could walk out of court a free man.

The district attorney could choose to retry the case, but prosecutors would not likely move for an immediate retrial on the spot, according to a spokeswoman for the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.

Abrams said the decision to retry the case could come down to two critical factors.

"If [the vote was] 11-1 to convict, the DA would be under pressure to retry the case. Also, what does Andrea Constand think? She becomes a critical player in that decision. If she insists, that could hold some weight," he said.

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