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Wed Jun 30, 2021, 12:49 PM

Court overturns Bill Cosby's conviction and bars future prosecution

What the hell???

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/30/court-overturns-bill-cosbys-sex-assault-conviction-bars-further-prosecution.html

40 replies, 2020 views

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Reply Court overturns Bill Cosby's conviction and bars future prosecution (Original post)
shelshaw Jun 2021 OP
XanaDUer2 Jun 2021 #1
nitpicker Jun 2021 #3
wryter2000 Jun 2021 #2
Drunken Irishman Jun 2021 #4
madinmaryland Jun 2021 #19
Tomconroy Jun 2021 #21
Effete Snob Jun 2021 #27
lindysalsagal Jun 2021 #5
Takket Jun 2021 #33
ProfessorGAC Jun 2021 #6
lagomorph777 Jun 2021 #16
Effete Snob Jun 2021 #23
lagomorph777 Jun 2021 #30
Effete Snob Jun 2021 #26
ProfessorGAC Jun 2021 #36
Effete Snob Jun 2021 #38
ProfessorGAC Jun 2021 #40
greatauntoftriplets Jun 2021 #7
Sympthsical Jun 2021 #8
Drunken Irishman Jun 2021 #9
Sympthsical Jun 2021 #11
NJCher Jun 2021 #13
NYC Liberal Jun 2021 #18
bearsfootball516 Jun 2021 #10
StarfishSaver Jun 2021 #12
Tomconroy Jun 2021 #22
fescuerescue Jun 2021 #28
NJCher Jun 2021 #31
Dr. Strange Jun 2021 #35
former9thward Jun 2021 #37
MiniMe Jun 2021 #14
Effete Snob Jun 2021 #24
Johnny2X2X Jun 2021 #15
LizBeth Jun 2021 #17
fishwax Jun 2021 #20
Ms. Toad Jun 2021 #25
BradAllison Jun 2021 #29
RANDYWILDMAN Jun 2021 #32
Takket Jun 2021 #34
clementine613 Jun 2021 #39

Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 12:50 PM

1. I'm disgusted nt

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Response to XanaDUer2 (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 12:51 PM

3. +1

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 12:51 PM

2. WTF?

On what grounds? This is bogus.

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 12:52 PM

4. An agreement with a previous prosecutor that he wouldn't be charged is the reason.

It sucks but it sounds like the right decision based on that.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:23 PM

19. Why was this not raised during the original trial that he had an agreement with the

Prosecutor not to charge him. Seems odd.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #19)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:35 PM

21. It was raised. The trial judge

Simply ruled that in his judgment the previous prosecutor, who testified about the agreement, was lying.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #19)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 02:08 PM

27. It was


The trial judge got it wrong.

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 12:53 PM

5. Technicality in strategy. DAMN!

Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction will be overturned and the 83-year-old comedian will be released from prison after the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court issued an opinion to vacate his conviction Wednesday.

Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned the conviction after finding an agreement with a previous prosecutor prevented Cosby from being charged in the case.

Cosby has served more than two years of a three- to 10-year sentence at a state prison near Philadelphia. He had vowed to serve all 10 years rather than acknowledge any remorse over the 2004 encounter with accuser Andrea Constand.

Cosby, who was once beloved as “America’s Dad,” was convicted of drugging and molesting the Temple University employee at his suburban estate.

He was charged in late 2015, when a prosecutor armed with newly unsealed evidence — Cosby’s damaging deposition from her lawsuit — arrested him days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.

The trial judge had allowed just one other accuser to testify at Cosby’s first trial, when the jury deadlocked. However, he then allowed five other accusers to testify at the retrial about their experiences with Cosby in the 1980s.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that testimony tainted the trial, even though a lower appeals court had found it appropriate to show a signature pattern of drugging and molesting women.

Cosby was the first celebrity tried and convicted in the #MeToo era, so the reversal could make prosecutors wary of calling other accusers in similar cases. The law on prior bad act testimony varies by state, though, and the ruling only holds sway in Pennsylvania.

Prosecutors did not immediately say if they would appeal or seek to try Cosby for a third time.

The justices voiced concern not just about sex assault cases, but what they saw as the judiciary’s increasing tendency to allow testimony that crosses the line into character attacks. The law allows the testimony only in limited cases, including to show a crime pattern so specific it serves to identify the perpetrator.

In New York, the judge presiding over last year’s trial of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose case had sparked the explosion of the #MeToo movement in 2017, let four other accusers testify. Weinstein was convicted and sentenced to 23 years in prison. He is now facing separate charges in California.

In Cosby’s case, one of his appellate lawyers said prosecutors put on vague evidence about the uncharged conduct, including Cosby’s own recollections in his deposition about giving women alcohol or quaaludes before sexual encounters.

“The presumption of innocence just didn’t exist for him,” Jennifer Bonjean, the lawyer, argued to the court in December.

In May, Cosby was denied paroled after refusing to participate in sex offender programs during his nearly three years in state prison. He has long said he would resist the treatment programs and refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing even if it means serving the full 10-year sentence.

This is the first year he was eligible for parole under the three- to 10-year sentence handed down after his 2018 conviction.

Cosby spokesperson Andrew Wyatt called the parole board decision “appalling.”

Prosecutors said Cosby repeatedly used his fame and “family man” persona to manipulate young women, holding himself out as a mentor before betraying them.

Cosby, a groundbreaking Black actor who grew up in public housing in Philadelphia, made a fortune estimated at $400 million during his 50 years in the entertainment industry. His trademark clean comedy and homespun wisdom fueled popular TV shows, books and standup acts.

He fell from favor in his later years as he lectured the Black community about family values, but was attempting a comeback when he was arrested.

“There was a built-in level of trust because of his status in the entertainment industry and because he held himself out as a public moralist,” Assistant District Attorney Adrienne Jappe, of suburban Montgomery County, argued to the justices.

Cosby had invited Constand to an estate he owns in Pennsylvania the night she said he drugged and sexually assaulted her.

Constand, a former professional basketball player who worked at his alma mater, went to police a year later. The other accusers knew Cosby through the entertainment industry and did not go to police.

The AP does not typically identify sexual assault victims without their permission, which Constand has granted.

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Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 02:59 PM

33. Wait... this says the PSC says

“ The trial judge had allowed just one other accuser to testify at Cosby’s first trial, when the jury deadlocked. However, he then allowed five other accusers to testify at the retrial about their experiences with Cosby in the 1980s.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that testimony tainted the trial, even though a lower appeals court had found it appropriate to show a signature pattern of drugging and molesting women. ”

But others are saying he was let go because of the deal with the prosecutor. So which is it?

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 12:54 PM

6. If The Reporting Is Accurate...

...shame on the prosecutor that offered the deal.
He did it, repeatedly, and now his record is expunged.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:12 PM

16. I am wondering what the hell that previous prosecutor was trying to accomplish.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #16)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 02:01 PM

23. It allowed Constand to proceed with her civil claim against Cosby


By depriving Cosby of the ability to invoke the Fifth Amendment in the civil case, Constand (the victim) was easily able to proceed against him.

There was not enough evidence for a criminal case, and the prosecutor was trying to accomplish some ability for the victim to obtain justice.

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Response to Effete Snob (Reply #23)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 02:35 PM

30. Thanks - that actually makes sense.

I don't imagine it would help Cosby in cases other than Constand though.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 02:07 PM

26. So, you would have decided the victim shouldn't get a civil judgment?

If you were the prosecutor, it would have been just "too bad" to her, instead of clearing a path for a civil judgment?


https://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/J-100-2020mo%20-%20104821740139246918.pdf?cb=1

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.

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Response to Effete Snob (Reply #26)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 03:35 PM

36. I'd Need To See More Legal Opinions

People have been sued after a criminal conviction, when they have the means despite incarceration.
The other prosecutors must have had a different view.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #36)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 04:08 PM

38. I don't understand your response


There was not going to be a criminal conviction, because there was not enough evidence to prosecute. To allow the civil case to go forward, the prosecutor stated he would not seek to convict Cosby on the basis of his own testimony in the civil case. This removed the Fifth Amendment objection Cosby would have otherwise asserted and allowed the civil case to go forward with his testimony.

The later prosecutor decided to proceed with a criminal prosecution, notwithstanding the intent of the first prosecutor and Cosby's reliance on the first prosecutor's statement that the civil case testimony would be off limits in a future prosecution.

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Response to Effete Snob (Reply #38)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 04:17 PM

40. Yes You Do

You made my point in your second paragraph.
The opinion that civil relief was not available in the event of a criminal trial was not shared by the different set of lawyers.
I don't know who is right, but opinions clearly differed.
And, while I don't know about that state, it has happened where civil judgments followed a criminal conviction.
It's rare, but not impossible.
So, I would need to see more opinions from legal experts before I could agree that the original prosecutor made the correct call.

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 12:54 PM

7. Who did he bribe?

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Response to greatauntoftriplets (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 12:55 PM

8. The prosecutor badly fouled up

Well, at least he got some time, I suppose.

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Response to Sympthsical (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 12:56 PM

9. Typical incompetent Republican.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 12:57 PM

11. This is everyone's shocked face n/t

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Response to Sympthsical (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:04 PM

13. He not only got the time

but the ordeal and publicity itself is a punishment. His career and name are ruined forever.

The first year or so in prison is actually the worst. After that one somewhat acclimates oneself to it and finds a way to deal with it. But the first year is psychologically very difficult. Of course this varies from individual to individual.

This is just my opinion and I have never served time in prison, but I do work as a criminal justice advocate and know what they go through from my various cases.

At 83, I doubt he will be accosting any more young women.

I wonder if his wife will have him back.

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Response to NJCher (Reply #13)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:18 PM

18. His wife compared his conviction to a lynching. She never left.

In her first major media interview in six years, Bill Cosby's wife Camille Cosby told ABC News that she is "very, very pleased" that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear part of her husband's appeal -- but insisted that the #MeToo movement needs to "clean up their act" and that she doesn't "care" about the feelings of scores of women who have accused her husband of drugging and sexually abusing them.

Also compared her husband to Emmett Till and the victims of the Tulsa massacre

Cosby also defended previous comparisons she has made between accusations against her husband and the lynching of Emmett Till, the 14-year old Mississippi child brutalized and murdered in 1955 for whistling at a white woman -- a false claim debunked years after the murder by the woman who made the claim in the first place.

She also drew comparisons of her husband's treatment to the massacre of hundreds of African Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921 -- widely considered by scholars to be one of the lowest points of in the nation's history of racial violence.

Cosby contended that the comparison is apt.


https://abcnews.go.com/US/camille-cosby-husbands-appeal-black-lives-matter-metoo/story?id=71414696

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Response to greatauntoftriplets (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 12:56 PM

10. Nobody. Sounds like a previous prosecutor made a massive, massive mistake.

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Response to bearsfootball516 (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:02 PM

12. A prosecutor who went on to become Trump's defense lawyer

 

Only the best ...

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Response to bearsfootball516 (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:38 PM

22. The agreement was made

So that Crosby would waive his fifth amendment rights not to testify in a deposition on a civil case with the complainant in the criminal case.

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Response to bearsfootball516 (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 02:15 PM

28. Depends on your point of view


The deal short changed the governments ability to try him again yes.

However the deal allowed the victim to receive compensation via the Civil process.

Is it more important for him to be in Jail, or the victim to receive compensation?

I'm not going to attempt to answer that, but the former prosecutor felt that getting the victim compensation was more important.


In the end, the government got it's cake and got to eat some of it. He did a few years and the victim won her civil trial.

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Response to fescuerescue (Reply #28)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 02:37 PM

31. well now that you look at it that way

everybody got a little something.

I think it's important that the victim get compensation. I have no sympthy zilch--zero--nada-- for Cosby but he did undergo a horrible ordeal and it has pretty much ruined the end of his life. It also cost him at least 7 million i defense fees, probably more, and many more millions in settlements to victims.

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Response to fescuerescue (Reply #28)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 03:31 PM

35. This is really the question of the day, isn't it?

Is it more important for him to be in Jail, or the victim to receive compensation?

Restorative vs punitive justice. What do we really want?

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Response to bearsfootball516 (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 03:50 PM

37. Why? He had a case he could not win.

The PA SC certainly did not say any mistake was made.

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:05 PM

14. Is it a tRump judge who made the ruling?

Since I'm sure that tRump mostly appointed judges who are OK with sexual assault since he has a lot of cases pending against him.

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Response to MiniMe (Reply #14)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 02:02 PM

24. This was the PA Supreme Court


The president does not appoint state court judges. State governments run their own systems.

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:09 PM

15. There are surely other cases to move forward now though

He was convicted on one case, there are several dozen others.

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:14 PM

17. Another rapist walks...

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 01:31 PM

20. This sucks. But at least he did some time, and the whole world knows he's guilty

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 02:04 PM

25. Massive screw-up.

And other oddness that - had the PA Supreme Court chosen - could have led to a different outcome.

1st prosecutor decided there were enough holes in the case they coudn't prosecute. Rather than leave Constand without a remedy, the prosecutor publically announced a decision not to prosecute (which was also conveyed to counsel on both sides). The prosecutor's intent was to take away the threat of future criminal prosecution so that Cosby could be forced to testify in a civil trial under oath. (Had the threat of criminal prosecution still been real, Cosby could have refused to answer questions by asserting his 5th amendment right not to incriminate himself.)

Constand sued Cosby civilly - including forcing Cosby to testify under oath without the benefit of the 5th amendment protection against incrimination.

2nd prosecutor - after more women came forward said, "screw that" and prosecuted Cosby - using the deposition testimony given without the benefit of 5th amendment protections against incrimination. And the rest is history . . . until today.

Part of the court's reasoning:

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.

While the prosecutor’s discretion in charging decisions is undoubtedly vast, it is not exempt from basic principles of fundamental fairness, nor can it be wielded in a manner that violates a defendant’s rights. The foregoing precedents make clear that, at a minimum, when a defendant relies to his or her detriment upon the acts of a prosecutor, his or her due process rights are implicated.


Oddities the cour could have used had it desired a different outcome:

Cosby never attempted to assert his 5th Amendment right against incrimination - he (and apparently his counsel) just assumed it would have been pointless. Since he never attempted to invoke it, it is impossible to determine whether he WOULD have attepted to invoke it but for the bar - or would have chosen, instead, to speak freely. On at least one other occasion, in police presence, he spoke when it would have been smarter to exercise his right against self-incrimination.

Nothing appears in the formal record (prior to trial) supporting the existence of an unconditional promise. It's all press releases and phone conversations. So, while there is a written record of at least an initial decision not to prosecute, the fact that it was a permanent decision the prosecutor believed they were making on behalf of the Commonwealth is present only in the recollection of the prosecutor as testified to at hearings related to the trial.

That's what I've got on a quick skim.

Here's the decision in case anyone else prefers the original - rather than the digested for public consumption version: https://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/J-100-2020mo%20-%20104821740139246918.pdf?cb=1

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 02:18 PM

29. Cosby already proclaiming it justice for black America n/m

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 02:50 PM

32. Justice served $$$$$$$$$$ finally

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 03:02 PM

34. Great to be rich, isn't it?

Your lawyers can just appeal and look for loopholes forever if you have the cash. Some nobody with a public defender would have been locked up and his case never given another thought.

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Response to shelshaw (Original post)

Wed Jun 30, 2021, 04:08 PM

39. Of course, once again, a Repuke is at the center of a perversion of justice.

We should ban them from the bench and practicing law. We'll have a much better justice system for it. (Yeah, I know... it'll never happen, but a person can dream, no?)

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