Bill Cosby freed from prison, his sex conviction overturned by the PA Supreme Court

Sylvia

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Associated Press article has since been updated since I started this thread - newer version:
Updated excerpts:
Pennsylvania’s highest court threw out Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction and released him from prison Wednesday in a stunning reversal of fortune for the comedian once known as “America’s Dad,” ruling that the prosecutor who brought the case was bound by his predecessor’s agreement not to charge Cosby.
Cosby, 83, flashed the V-for-victory sign to a helicopter overhead as he trudged into his suburban Philadelphia home after serving nearly three years of a three- to 10-year sentence for drugging and violating Temple University sports administrator Andrea Constand in 2004.
The former “Cosby Show” star — the first celebrity tried and convicted in the #MeToo era — had no comment as he arrived, and just smiled and nodded later at a news conference outside, where his lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said: “We are thrilled to have Mr. Cosby home.”
“He served three years of an unjust sentence and he did it with dignity and principle,” she added.
In a statement, Constand and her lawyers called the ruling disappointing, and they, like many other advocates, expressed fear that it could discourage sexual assault victims from coming forward. “We urge all victims to have their voices heard,” they added. [...]
Justice David Wecht, writing for a split court, said Cosby had relied on the previous district attorney’s decision not to charge him when the comedian gave his potentially incriminating testimony in Constand’s civil case.
The court called Cosby’s subsequent arrest “an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was forgone for more than a decade.” It said justice and “fair play and decency” require that the district attorney’s office stand by the decision of the previous DA.
The justices said that overturning the conviction and barring any further prosecution “is the only remedy that comports with society’s reasonable expectations of its elected prosecutors and our criminal justice system.”
ETA link to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's 79-page opinion that was published today (June 30):

The Philadelphia Inquirer article has also been updated since this thread was started:
 
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mpal2

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Let me see if I understand this correctly.

1. Constand was basically forced into a civil trial instead of criminal.
2. Because the agreement was a civil trial instead of criminal and it ended up being used in a criminal trial they are overturning his conviction?
3. No one has argued that he is not guilty but he gets away with it.
 

VGThuy

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I mean it did deal with a very serious infringement of a basic fundamental right, so their hands were tied. This was nobody else's fault but the prosecution. The victims did everything they could. Maybe the prosecutors were used to playing fast and loose with the Constitution, but this is what happens when they get caught. Now innocent victims won't get the justice they deserved due to bad lawyering.
 

Cherub721

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Skimming through the decision, there was sloppy lawyering by Cosby's team back in 2005 as they never raised his 5th amendment right to self-incrimination in the civil case, and Cosby made admissions in that case that were later used against him in the criminal case. They should have raised it then and the court would have had to decide whether he could be forced to be deposed/testify in the civil case and then he would have known what he could say in that case.

Essentially the prosecutor's original goal was to grant him immunity from prosecution on Constand's claims, but without actually making a formal agreement with him to that effect. Cosby then relied on that "immunity" and admitted to sexual contact with the victim.
 

jenny12

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This is beyond infuriating. I’m devastated for his survivors who were so brave in coming forward. My anger is mainly at the prosecution. They failed Cosby’s victims. Prosecutorial misconduct fails both victims and defendants. I understand that the court’s hands were tied but I continue to be heartbroken for all the women who were abused by Cosby. May they know how important their bravery continues to be for all those who are sexual assault victims, especially those by powerful men.
 
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Yazmeen

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This is beyond infuriating. I’m devastated for his survivors who were so brave in coming forward. My anger is mainly at the prosecution. They failed Cosby’s victims. Prosecutorial misconduct fails both victims and defendants. I understand that the court’s hands were tied but I continue to be heartbroken for all the women who were abused by Cosby. May they know how important the bravery continues to be for all those who are sexual assault victims, especially those by powerful men.
Welcome to the hell here in the Philly area that is Bruce Castor and his legal clown show. He should be disbarred.
 

ballettmaus

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I mean it did deal with a very serious infringement of a basic fundamental right, so their hands were tied. This was nobody else's fault but the prosecution. The victims did everything they could. Maybe the prosecutors were used to playing fast and loose with the Constitution, but this is what happens when they get caught. Now innocent victims won't get the justice they deserved due to bad lawyering.
In other words, the prosecutor cared more about himself and what it would mean for him if he got a conviction than the victims :( Disgusting.

Castor. Same guy who defended Trump at the 2nd impeachment?
Yup. So, the disrespect for the victims is not surprising but still despicable.
 

DFJ

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A
The one and only.

Legally, it's a logical result. Castor cut a deal, the next prosecutor can't revoke it.

And once again, Trump hires only the best:rolleyes:

I understand the logic of the court's decision but I wonder why the defence didn't raise the issue at trial. Maybe they did. I'll have to do a bit more research.

I feel for the women here. I hope Mr. Cosby lives a miserable life from here on out. A disgusting excuse for a human being.
 

el henry

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I understand the logic of the court's decision but I wonder why the defence didn't raise the issue at trial. Maybe they did. I'll have to do a bit more research.

I feel for the women here. I hope Mr. Cosby lives a miserable life from here on out. A disgusting excuse for a human being.

Cosby did make that argument at trial. I am far from conversant in criminal procedure, but reading the Supreme Court decision, Cosby's argument was made at a habeas proceeding?

Here is the link to the 79 :eek:page decision. I do not pretend to have read it all in detail: ETA: And I see the link is also above. My main point being, I'm not going to read all 79 pages tonight ;)


And the holding:

For the reasons detailed below, we hold that, when a prosecutor makes an unconditional promise of non-prosecution, and when the defendant relies upon that guarantee to the detriment of his constitutional right not to testify, the principle of fundamental fairness that undergirds due process of law in our criminal justice system demands that the promise be enforced.
 

ЭPiKUilyam

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Associated Press article has since been updated since I started this thread - newer version:
Updated excerpts:


ETA link to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's 79-page opinion that was published today (June 30):

The Philadelphia Inquirer article has also been updated since this thread was started:
At least he has spent more than two years in prison. His victims did see some justice, which is rare. I'll focus on that.
 

AxelAnnie

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I understand the logic of the court's decision but I wonder why the defence didn't raise the issue at trial. Maybe they did. I'll have to do a bit more research.

I feel for the women here. I hope Mr. Cosby lives a miserable life from here on out. A disgusting excuse for a human being.
What a horrid thing to hope for someone.
 

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