The Black entertainment world is erupting right now following the breaking news of Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction being overturned.
There have been a lot of reactions to the news — confusion, shock, even cheers of triumph surprisingly from his TV wife Phylicia Rashad are some we’ve seen so far! — but many are simply asking one thing: HOW?!
Well, as crazy as this may sound, Cosby may have the Trump Administration to thank for his immediate release from prison.
As tweeted by The Recount (seen above), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court chose to overturn Bill Cosby’s conviction after it was discovered that an agreement with a former prosecutor, Bruce Castor, prevented Cosby from being charged in the case. For reference, Castor served as Trump’s defense attorney during his second impeachment earlier this year.
The technicality occurred because Cosby struck a deal back in in 2005 that saw Castor promising the disgraced veteran actor that he wouldn’t be charged in the Andrea Constand case that he’s served two years for so far as long as he testified in the civil lawsuit filed by his accuser.
Under the ruling of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, Castor’s deal should have permitted Cosby from being charged in the case in general, leading him to be released from prison shortly after the overlook was discovered.
Here’s some extra context on the new ruling, pulled from official court documents:
“In 2005, Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor learned that Andrea Constand had reported that William Cosby had sexually assaulted her in 2004 at his Cheltenham residence. Along with his top deputy prosecutor and experienced detectives, District Attorney Castor thoroughly investigated Constand’s claim. In evaluating the likelihood of a successful prosecution of Cosby, the district attorney foresaw difficulties with Constand’s credibility as a witness based, in part, upon her decision not to file a complaint promptly. D.A. Castor further determined that a prosecution would be frustrated because there was no corroborating forensic evidence and because testimony from other potential claimants against Cosby likely was inadmissible under governing laws of evidence. The collective weight of these considerations led D.A. Castor to conclude that, unless Cosby confessed, “there was insufficient credible and admissible evidence upon which any charge against Mr. Cosby related to the Constand incident could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Seeking “some measure of justice” for Constand, D.A. Castor decided that the Commonwealth would decline to prosecute Cosby for the incident involving Constand, thereby allowing Cosby to be forced to testify in a subsequent civil action, under penalty of perjury, without the benefit of his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Unable to invoke any right not to testify in the civil proceedings, Cosby relied upon the district attorney’s declination and proceeded to provide four sworn depositions. During those depositions, Cosby made several incriminating statements.
D.A. Castor’s successors did not feel bound by his decision, and decided to prosecute Cosby notwithstanding that prior undertaking. The fruits of Cosby’s reliance upon D.A. Castor’s decision — Cosby’s sworn inculpatory testimony — were then used by D.A. Castor’s successors against Cosby at Cosby’s criminal trial. We granted allowance of appeal to determine whether D.A. Castor’s decision not to prosecute Cosby in exchange for his testimony must be enforced against the Commonwealth.”
The law can be a tricky thing sometimes, especially when it comes to loopholes. With that said, although this is in NO way proves that Bill Cosby innocent of the sex crimes he’s been accused of, it does appear his release falls within the rules of what he legally committed to with that prior deal and testimony. Even though justices ruled 6-1 that his conviction should be tossed out, there was a 4-3 divide on if he should be prosecuted again or if testimonies during previous depositions are now permissible if a retrial occurs.
Are you floored by Bill Cosby being released from prison or are you celebrating along with Phylicia Rashad? Let us know your thoughts on this!
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