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Pennsylvania’s Highest Court Overturns Bill Cosby’s Sex Assault Conviction

Pennsylvania’s Highest Court Overturns Bill Cosby’s Sex Assault Conviction

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision bars any retrial.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction due to an agreement made with a former prosecutor that prevented the state from charging him.

Cosby has served three years of a three-to-10 year sentence for his conviction of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004.

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

The case had a complicated history that began in 2005 when Constand first reported the alleged assault to then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr., who ultimately declined to file charges in this case.

But Castor’s successors reopened the case and charged Cosby in 2015, just days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired and amid a barrage of new accusations from women across the country.

At the time, Castor objected to the new prosecution, saying he’d struck a deal with Cosby and his lawyers not to prosecute him for Constand’s assault if Cosby agreed to sit for a deposition in a civil case she had filed against him.

Excerpts from that deposition were ultimately used against Cosby at trial

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.

It all comes down to the 5th Amendment:

The right against compulsory self-incrimination accompanies a person wherever he goes, no matter the legal proceeding in which he participates, unless and until “the potential exposure to criminal punishment no longer exists.” Taylor, 230 A.3d at 1065. It is indisputable that, in Constand’s civil case, Cosby was entitled to invoke the Fifth Amendment. No court could have forced Cosby to testify in a deposition or at a trial so long as the potential for criminal charges remained. Here, however, when called for deposition, Cosby no longer faced criminal charges. When compelled to testify, Cosby no longer had a right to invoke his right to remain silent.

These legal commandments compel only one conclusion. Cosby did not invoke the Fifth Amendment before he incriminated himself because he was operating under the reasonable belief that D.A. Castor’s decision not to prosecute him meant that “the potential exposure to criminal punishment no longer exist[ed].” Id. at 1065. Cosby could not invoke that which he no longer possessed, given the Commonwealth’s assurances that he faced no risk of prosecution. Not only did D.A. Castor’s unconditional decision not to prosecute Cosby strip Cosby of a fundamental constitutional right, but, because he was forced to testify, Cosby provided Constand’s civil attorneys with evidence of Cosby’s past use of drugs to facilitate his sexual exploits. Undoubtedly, this information hindered Cosby’s ability to defend against the civil action, and led to a settlement for a significant amount of money. We are left with no doubt that Cosby relied to his detriment upon the district attorney’s decision not to prosecute him. The question then becomes whether that reliance was reasonable. Unreasonable reliance warrants no legal remedy.

The ruling bars any retrial: “There is only one remedy that can completely restore Cosby to the status quo ante. He must be discharged, and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred.”

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Comments

He’s leaving prison to enter another one, as in virtual house arrest. He isn’t going to be able to go anywhere without security. Anyone who has anything to do with him will be likely be subject to public scrutiny.

    chrisboltssr in reply to p. | June 30, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    Nah, he won’t be harassed outside of jail. His ultimate enemy now is the same for all of us, time.

I bet he’ll have a normal life. How’s OJ doing these days?

Elite privilege on clear display, IMO.

They protect their own.

    Edward in reply to CommoChief. | June 30, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    No, the actual application of the Constitution. Quelle surprise! The victim decided she preferred cash to prosecution and supported the DA granting a state promise of no prosecution in return for Cosby’s deposition in the civil case. That elimination of possibility of prosecution eliminated Cosby’s ability to claim his right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment and he testified truthfully in the deposition, relying on no prosecution being possible. The next DA ignored the time honored “rule” that if a person relies on a promise of the state, and fulfills his part of the bargain, the state is stuck with that deal. The court rectified that error.

      Observer in reply to Edward. | June 30, 2021 at 9:15 pm

      The reason that the original prosecutor decided to immunize Cosby from criminal prosecution, and thus force him to testify in the civil trial, was that the prosecutor’s office had investigated Andrea Constand’s claim about the alleged assault and concluded that they could never successfully prosecute it. There were too many inconsistencies in her story; there was zero evidence supporting her claim; she had waited a year (at least) after the alleged assault before coming forward; she had continued to call and meet up socially with Cosby on multiple occasions for more than a year after the alleged assault; she had contacted civil lawyers about a potential lawsuit before taking her claim to the police, and she appeared to be trying to shake Cosby down for money.

      At the trial, we learned even more about Constand’s credibility problems. She claimed she had only a professional “mentor” relationship with Cosby, but she was going to his home for candlelight dinners alone with him, she was taking trips with him (and lying on his motel bed with him), she was accepting personal gifts from him (perfume, a sweater, an expensive hair dryer “so that she could style her hair the way he liked it,” etc.). This woman, who is a lesbian, knew that Cosby was sexually interested in her, and she was deliberately playing him, probably in the hopes that she could obtain money or a better-paying job because of her relationship with him.

      This was a bullsh*t case from the start, and should never have been prosecuted.

      henrybowman in reply to Edward. | July 1, 2021 at 12:38 am

      One wonders how this detail could possibly have failed to be argued much, much earlier in this debacle, like in the very first legal filings of the defendant. Something tells me there is a sordid story of collusion yet untold here.

    MarkSmith in reply to CommoChief. | June 30, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    White Privilege, right

      CommoChief in reply to MarkSmith. | July 1, 2021 at 9:08 am

      Mark,

      The elites have privilege and exercise it on behalf of themselves and their elite peers. I contend that ‘race’ is immaterial, what matters is wealth, social prominence, political or executive power.

      The hucksters pushing CRT/Equity deny the plain truth of this. Instead, they cast privilege as belonging to members of a specific ‘race’. These are the oppressors. Everyone not deemed an oppressor is one of the oppressed.

      Under their racist construction all ‘white’ people are oppressors or enjoy the benefits of this oppression.
      That is the basic argument for ‘white’ privilege.

      Obama is privileged. Lebron James is privileged. Their accomplishments and willingness to toe the line on the ideology of the elite earned their entry. Their children will inherit a place in the ranks of the privileged elite.

      Cosby, IMO, is to some degree, enjoying the benefit of his own membership.

Cosby may be scum, but this was the proper decision.

    willow in reply to Barry. | June 30, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Totally agree.

    CommoChief in reply to Barry. | June 30, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Barry,

    The Pennsylvania CT ruled that due to an ‘agreement not to prosecute’ with the prior DA in exchange for a deposition. That, absent the agreement Cosby wouldn’t have provided any statements or agreed to a deposition.

    I am unfamiliar with procedure in Pennsylvania. Normally a judge needs to sign off on agreements. Now let’s apply the logic used here in favor of Cosby to other defendants.

    How many public defenders have faced the following scenario:

    Defendant arrested and interrogated by detectives. Defendant fails to invoke right to counsel immediately.

    Detective tells defendant ‘we don’t care about you, we just want your cooperation to go after/arrest/convict someone else’. Detective tells defendant ‘ if you cooperate we can cut you loose’.

    In that scenario the agent of the state has communicated that if the defendant cooperates that the state ‘will cut him loose’; drop charges and not prosecute defendant.

    Defendant relies upon this agreement and cooperates, only to be prosecuted despite this agreement. Shall we overturn all Pennsylvania convictions under that circumstance?

    If not then this was an example of the special application of privilege by the elites to ultimately protect one of their own. Nothing less.

      Edward in reply to CommoChief. | June 30, 2021 at 3:10 pm

      I see you are certain of your eminent education and experience in criminal law and will not be swayed. I’ll not waste any more time.

        CommoChief in reply to Edward. | June 30, 2021 at 3:27 pm

        Eddie,

        Thanks for your comment. It provides an illuminating insight into the mind behind your comment.

        Though of course you didn’t choose to address the argument I made. Instead you offered passive aggressive commentary as to claims I haven’t made. Save that for your next therapy session.

        My argument is based on applying the logic of the decision, not necessarily the legal basis of the decision. I clearly pointed out I am unfamiliar with Pennsylvania procedure and make no claims to eminence.

          Edward in reply to CommoChief. | June 30, 2021 at 3:44 pm

          I had already responded to your previous statements. Why bother to waste more time if you still persist. And the legal basis is all that matters in court. As I had previously pointed out every court operates on the premise that a promise made by the state (whether Federal, state or local) is binding on the state absent the other party to the agreement failing to complete his part of the deal. Cosby did keep his part of the agreement and both the subsequent DA and the Judge screwed up in failing to keep the state’s part of the deal. Even on the basis of common sense, an agreement between two honorable people must be kept. Of course there’s lawyers involve here – sooooo.

          Edward in reply to CommoChief. | June 30, 2021 at 3:48 pm

          BTW, I’m damned near 80 and haven’t been called that childish nickname in more than 60 years. Maybe a bit crotchety and a curmudgeon, but not childish.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | June 30, 2021 at 3:51 pm

          Edward,

          Ok no worries. Where a defendant relies upon the agreement that he will not be prosecuted if only he will make a statement to assist LEO to prosecute someone else then you are stating that the state is bound by the agreement made by their agent; a detective who cons a defendant?

          JPL17 in reply to CommoChief. | June 30, 2021 at 7:31 pm

          Commo — Please just read the decision. It directly addresses and dismisses both your arguments. It then holds that what the Montgomery DA did to Cosby was a blatant violation of his due process rights under both the U.S. and Pennsylvania constitutions. And 6 of the 7 Pa. Supreme Court Justices agreed with that.

          Indeed, that Court’s ruling is so blatantly obvious that the Montco DA should be disbarred.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | June 30, 2021 at 7:51 pm

          JPL,

          You had me at please.

          Seriously though I appreciate everyone allowing me to indulge my fantasy with this.

          Maybe one day every defendant who gets conned by an agent of the state into an ‘agreement’ will have that agreement enforced by the CT regardless of which state agent offered it.

          Obviously that’s not the case today. I agree it’s better that Cosby skates than serve time on a flawed prosecution.

          Brave Sir Robbin in reply to CommoChief. | July 1, 2021 at 1:23 pm

          I think, and correct me if I am wrong, that CommoChief is sayin these legal niceties are only followed in the case in which the defendant is a member of the elite or favored caste of our society. In that case, you are granted full constitutional and process rights and courtesies. But if you are something else, a commoner or a person of disfavored status, you are not allowed your constitutional rights or privilege of favorable process.

          In sum, some folks, the “right” folks, get to enjoy constitutional rights, but the rest of us…. not so much.

          He is saying we are not all equal under the law.

      Barry in reply to CommoChief. | June 30, 2021 at 3:27 pm

      No, sorry, any fair reading of this case is quite simple and PA Supreme Court has it right.

        CommoChief in reply to Barry. | June 30, 2021 at 3:32 pm

        Barry,

        So no dice for the defendant who equally relied upon the ‘agreement’ they were offered; Testimony and statements in return for a promise not to prosecute?

      Milhouse in reply to CommoChief. | June 30, 2021 at 4:39 pm

      The difference is that detectives are allowed to lie. Prosecutors are not. If a prosecutor said that, the state would be bound by it.

        CommoChief in reply to Milhouse. | June 30, 2021 at 6:15 pm

        Milhouse,

        Yes indeed.. In some instances a defendant who relies upon the ‘agreement’ offered by an agent of the state, gets worked/played.

        I simply contend that morally and logically Cosby shouldn’t be any different.

        Unrealistic as hell because we all know that other defendants in similar circumstances won’t have the Pennsylvania CT force the state to honor those deals.

        End of my totally unrealistic dream rant.

          Milhouse in reply to CommoChief. | June 30, 2021 at 7:47 pm

          Unrealistic as hell because we all know that other defendants in similar circumstances won’t have the Pennsylvania CT force the state to honor those deals.

          No, we don’t. Any other defendant in the same circumstances would get the same decision. In fact almost any other defendant would not have been charged in the first place.

          And the difference remains that prosecutors are not allowed to lie, but detectives are.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | June 30, 2021 at 9:13 pm

          Milhouse,

          Well yes you are correct for a defendant in the same circumstances, though that’s not what I stated.

          I stated in similar circumstances, not the same circumstances. Deliberate word choice.

        Also, as I (non-lawyer) understand it, the detective does not have the *authority* to make such a deal. The DA decides who gets prosecuted and who doesn’t. The detective might propose a deal, but the DA would have to sign off on it. In this case, the DA signed off on the deal, then the next DA decided to break it. This is going to have negative consequences for any future deals that DA may offer, because he was a greedy idiot.

          JPL17 in reply to georgfelis. | June 30, 2021 at 7:38 pm

          Georgfelis — It wasn’t he who was a greedy idiot. It was she. I.e., the DA who made and kept the non-prosecution promise to Cosby was male. It was his female successor who 10 years later threw this promise — and Due Process with it — into the trash can.

          IMHO, she should get nothing less than the Nifong treatment — disbarment.

          Milhouse in reply to georgfelis. | June 30, 2021 at 7:44 pm

          No, the DA didn’t have the authority to make such a deal either. Nor did he sign off on it. There was nothing in writing, merely an understanding, the only record of which was a press release. That’s why the trial court allowed the charges in the first place.

          The problem here is that he made his deposition in the civil case on the clear but mistaken understanding, both by the DA and his lawyers, as well as by the judge in the civil trial, that the decision not to charge him was binding.

          Had he explicitly invoked his fifth amendment rights and refused to be deposed, then the judge in that case would have had to make an official determination, and that would have been binding. But he didn’t. His lawyers mistakenly told him that he had no choice but to give the deposition, and that it could not be used against him in a criminal trial. And that, says the majority of the supreme court, makes the deposition compelled testimony, which indeed can’t be used against him.

          The trial judge who allowed this in the first place believed that since the DA’s decision wasn’t binding, it was his fault that he gave the deposition, he should have challenged it at the time, and now his only recourse is to sue his lawyers for malpractice. The majority of the supreme court disagree with that.

          Barry in reply to georgfelis. | July 1, 2021 at 11:19 am

          “The problem here is that he made his deposition in the civil case on the clear but mistaken understanding, both by the DA and his lawyers, as well as by the judge in the civil trial, that the decision not to charge him was binding.”

          Milhouse, I believe the PA Supremes have made it quite clear that the agreement was in fact binding. They overturned the original trial based upon this very thing which resulted in the Cosby deposition.

          Reno232 in reply to georgfelis. | July 1, 2021 at 11:59 am

          Millhouse, what you fail to recognize is that the first DA, the one who cut the deal with Cosby, admits he made the deal, and actually came out against the prosecution because of such. Therefore, even if it wasn’t in writing, it becomes de-facto binding. The PA Supreme Court ruled correctly. If deals like this can be withdrawn after the fact, good luck with getting folks to come forward.

          Milhouse in reply to georgfelis. | July 2, 2021 at 2:04 am

          Milhouse, I believe the PA Supremes have made it quite clear that the agreement was in fact binding.

          No, they didn’t. Not at all. Had he not made the deposition on the assumption that it was binding, his subsequent trial would have been valid.

          Millhouse, what you fail to recognize is that the first DA, the one who cut the deal with Cosby, admits he made the deal, and actually came out against the prosecution because of such. Therefore, even if it wasn’t in writing, it becomes de-facto binding

          No, it doesn’t. Even if it had been in writing it would have no substance, because the DA has no authority to do that.

          The PA Supreme Court ruled correctly

          Indeed it did, but it did not say what you are saying.

          If deals like this can be withdrawn after the fact, good luck with getting folks to come forward.

          People shouldn’t be relying on a DA’s word, because they ought to know that the law doesn’t give him the authority to make such promises. If they want to be sure they won’t be prosecuted they need to get a court to say so. Without that they have no guarantee. But Cosby didn’t know this, and thus his deposition was compelled, and that poisons any process that depends on it.

          Barry in reply to georgfelis. | July 2, 2021 at 4:50 pm

          How you can ignore the most fundamental and obvious is beyond me.

          The PA Supreme Court OVERTURNED the conviction based upon WHAT? Explain the reasoning they used that you find when the rest of us read the plain English that states:

          “These legal commandments compel only one conclusion. Cosby did not invoke the Fifth Amendment before he incriminated himself because he was operating under the reasonable belief that D.A. Castor’s decision not to prosecute him meant that “the potential exposure to criminal punishment no longer exist[ed].” Id. at 1065. Cosby could not invoke that which he no longer possessed, given the Commonwealth’s assurances that he faced no risk of prosecution. Not only did D.A. Castor’s unconditional decision not to prosecute Cosby strip Cosby of a fundamental constitutional right, but, because he was forced to testify, Cosby provided Constand’s civil attorneys with evidence of Cosby’s past use of drugs to facilitate his sexual exploits.”

CharlieMack | June 30, 2021 at 2:19 pm

I thought he would win on allowing the 5 other women testify.

    That was the second reason given in the ruling, besides the 5th Amendment issue.

      ugottabekiddinme in reply to p. | June 30, 2021 at 6:32 pm

      The court related the facts and procedural background of this second ground of the appeal, but it specifically declined to rule on this issue, because the due process grounds were sufficient to decide the case and bar any further prosecution. So the issue about allowing five other self-proclaimed “victims” to testify was left for some other case..

I wasn’t aware of any of this because I didn’t pay much attention to the entire affair, but if his violation of his constitutional rights is so obvious what was the original judge doing?

    willow in reply to NotCoach. | June 30, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    Me too movement.

    NJ observer in reply to NotCoach. | June 30, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    Doing a Jeffery Tobin under his robes. Many professionals are required pass some kind of “test” to be allowed to practice and to participate in continuing education. Maybe it is time for some testing and standards for judges.

    Edward in reply to NotCoach. | June 30, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    Don’t know about this particular judge. I had a case in North Texas District Court before Sarah T. Hughes while in Senior status. She slept through most of the case, then decided she would strike a misdemeanor plea bargain with the defendants and hand it to the AUSA as a fait accompli. The AUSA didn’t agree (we knew we had the Jury for the felonies), Hughes told the US Attorney to get his Assistant in line and he did.

    Federal judges can pretty well do what they damned well please in their courtroom (on in OKC demanded long sleeve white shirts only on attorneys in his court, dark blue, dark gray or black suits, no red “power” or highly decorative ties. And the nation saw what Sullivan did even after DoJ dropped the prosecution for prosecutorial misconduct.

    I don’t know that State judges have that much autonomy, they don’t have a lifetime appointment and many are elected/have to run for retention. But they can make poor/stupid/horrible decisions because of the celebrity of the case (e.g. Derek Chauvin’s trial).

    Barry in reply to NotCoach. | June 30, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    The original judge had it wrong, 100% wrong, and they do that all the time. Lower courts are overturned by Supreme courts rather frequently.

    Milhouse in reply to NotCoach. | June 30, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    The original judge reasoned that since there was no binding deal, it was Cosby’s own fault that he gave the deposition. He should have refused; that his lawyers told him he couldn’t was malpractice, and he should sue them for it.

    This court agreed, but said that nonetheless, since he was in fact compelled to give the deposition the fifth amendment prevents it from being used against him. He can still be retried, but neither the deposition nor anything derived from it can be used as evidence.

      Barry in reply to Milhouse. | July 1, 2021 at 1:39 am

      He cannot be retried.

        Milhouse in reply to Barry. | July 2, 2021 at 2:05 am

        In principle he could be, if there were sufficient evidence that did not derive in any way from his deposition. But there isn’t.

        Milhouse in reply to Barry. | July 2, 2021 at 2:53 am

        I apologize, you are right: At the end of its decision the court specifically considered the remedy of simply suppressing the deposition and everything derived from it, and allowing the commonwealth to attempt to try him again without that, and it rejected that as insufficient, because the harm Cosby suffered by his reliance on the DA’s announcement went far beyond simply the deposition. In these specific circumstances, the court concluded, no remedy would suffice short of forcing the commonwealth to comply with the DA’s announcement.

        “There is only one remedy that can completely restore Cosby to the status quo ante. He must be discharged, and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred. We do not dispute that this remedy is both severe and rare. But it is warranted here, indeed compelled.”

Comanche Voter | June 30, 2021 at 2:39 pm

This was a case of prosecutorial bait and switch. A woman had claimed (probably correctly) that Cosby had assaulted her in 2005. The Philly D.A. filed a criminal action; she filed a civil action for damages. Her attorneys wanted to take Cosby’s deposition. The then prosecutor made a deal with Cosby’s attorneys–if he would testify in the civil action, then the criminal case would be dropped. Certainly a rationale could be made that it was better for the “victim” to get a gazillion bucks in the civil lawsuit, than for the state to put Cosby in the pokey.

Go forward 10 years–and there’s a new District Attorney–he’s got “new evidence” in the form of Cosby’s deposition in the civil action. So he files a new criminal complaint just before the 12 year statute of limitations runs. Gets a conviction and Cosby goes to the slam.

Wait a minute Bunkie! A deal is a deal, and your office said you would not prosecute if Cosby gave a deposition. He kept his side of the bargain. What about you Mr. Philly Prosecutor?

    NJ observer in reply to Comanche Voter. | June 30, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks for a concise explanation. Too bad no one in the media will bother to be so accurate.

      Observer in reply to NJ observer. | June 30, 2021 at 9:31 pm

      It’s not entirely accurate. The original D.A. investigated Andrea Constand’s claim about the alleged assault, and decided NOT to prosecute Cosby, because the D.A. believed that Constand had serious credibility problems, there were too many inconsistencies in her story, and the D.A. concluded that he could never get a conviction. But Constand had already hired civil lawyers and was planning on filing a lawsuit, so the D.A. made the announcement about the immunity for Cosby. Cosby settled the civil lawsuit by paying Constand $3.4 million. Fast forward 10 years. There is now a new prosecutor, and many more women have come forward claiming Cosby assaulted them too (but their cases are all too old to prosecute). The new D.A. decides she’ll go ahead and prosecute Cosby criminally for the Constand claim, despite the immunity promise by the former prosecutor, and use Cosby’s civil depositions against him.

      The Constand case was always bullsh*t, as the original prosecutor recognized. Constand was always about shaking Cosby down for money. She was never a legitimate victim.

      Constand’s civil settlement with Cosby contained a clause prohibiting her from testifying against him in any criminal action. She obviously violated the agreement by testifying in his criminal trials. It would be hilarious if Cosby filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Constand now, and recovered the $3.4 million he paid her, plus more than a decade’s worth of interest.

    DPtarmigan in reply to Comanche Voter. | June 30, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    The ruling from the Court prohibits further prosecution.

    daniel_ream in reply to Comanche Voter. | June 30, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    A woman had claimed (probably correctly)

    People familiar with the case at the time, long before the refile, indicated that the case was a pure shakedown. Costand was trading sexual favours in exchange for leverage at Temple University because Cosby had a great deal of influence there (as well as being wealthy and powerful generally). When she didn’t get what she wanted, she made a bogus sex assault claim to extort money from the Cos.

    From what I saw of the original case, Andrea Costand is about as credible as Crystal Mangum.

    Comanche — Excellent summary, but please note that the double-crossing DA was a she, and that the double-crossing DA’s office was the one for Montgomery County, not Philadelphia County. (Not that Philly doesn’t have its own deep problems with its DA!)

Cosby has the potential to sue PA civilly, correct?

Wouldn’t expect nothing else from my State Supreme Court, their in the Leftists.

    Edward in reply to Skip. | June 30, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Be as that may, this is the correct decision. The DA ignored Cosby’s Fifth Amendment protected right being eliminated by the agreement, ignored the agreement which bound the state to not prosecute and put five witnesses up to testify who he should have known/knew should not have been permitted to testify (guess he figured it was up to the judge to prohibit their testimony and if he didn’t the prosecution is that much ahead in the game). The judge in the case presumably did the same regarding the deposition and promise and further also allowed testimony from the five other people who should not have been allowed to testify.

      Milhouse in reply to Edward. | June 30, 2021 at 7:53 pm

      There was no agreement which bound the state to not prosecute. There was only a press release from the DA, which did not even bind him, let alone his successors. Even a signed promise from the DA would not bind his successors; DAs don’t have that authority. But here there wasn’t even that. What there was, was a compelled deposition in the civil case, based on the mistaken belief that there was a binding deal not to charge him.

        randian in reply to Milhouse. | June 30, 2021 at 11:14 pm

        If a signed promise doesn’t bind successors then a DA could sign a “no prosecution” agreement (in exchange for testimony, or whatever) and their replacement, or a DA in another jurisdiction, could prosecute anyway. That’s even worse than the disgusting “two sovereigns” ruling from SCOTUS. It’s not only grossly unjust, but nobody would ever offer state’s evidence if that were possible.

          Milhouse in reply to randian. | July 1, 2021 at 1:06 am

          A DA has no authority to bind his successors. Only a court can do that. If you make a bargain with a DA you must get it ratified by a court. Cosby’s lawyers neglected that. When he was subpoenaed in the civil case they should have raised the fifth amendment and demanded that if the DA wanted him to testify he go to court and get his promise of immunity ratified.

          Barry in reply to randian. | July 1, 2021 at 11:24 am

          I’m trying to understand your response in light of the PA supreme court ruling. What you state would seem to be in alignment with the before. Th e PA Supremes have turned that upside down, correctly IMO. The Cosby trial should not have allowed any information from the deposition, that seems perfectly clear, as it was a violation of the defendants right of self incrimination.

          Do you disagree with the PA SC, or are you stating what was in effect prior to the SC ruling, or am I just missing your point?

          Milhouse in reply to randian. | July 2, 2021 at 2:09 am

          I am saying what the PA SC said: that although there was no binding promise not to prosecute him, he didn’t know that, and his deposition in the civil trial was compelled based on the assumption that there was such a promise.

          Had he known that he could still be prosecuted he would have challenged the subpoena to be deposed, and either he would have been upheld, or the civil court judge would have given him the immunity, and that would have been binding. Since he didn’t know there was this problem, and his lawyers told him he had no choice but to comply with the subpoena, he testified. Thus that testimony was compelled and can’t be used against him.

        Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2021 at 2:46 am

        From the court’s decision (page 64): “Our inquiry does not end there. D.A. Castor’s press release, without more, does not necessarily create a due process entitlement. Rather, the due process implications arise because Cosby detrimentally relied upon the Commonwealth’s decision, which was the district attorney’s ultimate intent in issuing the press release.”

        page 67: “Cosby did not invoke the Fifth Amendment before he incriminated himself because he was operating under the reasonable belief that D.A. Castor’s decision not to prosecute him meant that “the potential exposure to criminal punishment no longer exist[ed].”

        page 68: “We cannot deem it unreasonable to rely upon the advice of one’s attorneys.” […] “Not only was Cosby’s reliance upon the conclusions and advice of his attorneys reasonable, it was consistent with a core purpose of the right to counsel.”

          Barry in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2021 at 4:58 pm

          Well, we just don’t read the wording of the PA supreme court decision the same way.

          It seems clear to me. Cosby was given a deal, no prosecution, and believed it. Therefore the testimony used was compelled and unusable. I don’t see how you get around this, it is precisely their ruling. Had that promise to not prosecute not been there, the belief of what Cosby would have or would not have done is immaterial. It’s the promise that underpins the ruling.

          So the lesson from this is “If offered a deal by the DA to testify in a civil case, get it in WRITING, checked by your lawyer, signed by the DA, a judge, and several arch-angels if possible.”

          Now I’m seriously wondering how long it will take for Cosby to file the breach of contract case on the extortionist… Ahem. I mean young lady who sued him in the first place and settled (in writing) with the condition that she not testify in a criminal case against him, which she did. Seems pretty open and shut, pay back the 3million plus interest, you really should consider the consequences of *your* actions too, young lady.

E Howard Hunt | June 30, 2021 at 3:27 pm

This is most upsetting to his accusers since they worked so hard to become victims.

    And all the dollars from their civil suits that are vanishing out of their hands.

    That brings up an interesting question. Once a man in the public eye reaches a point of net worth up in the tens of millions, how many times per year do they average having some woman they’ve never met threaten to file suit against them for some taudry fib? I mean Pence certainly has a good defense against such extortion efforts, but I’m presuming at a certain point, every man in the 1% has been hit up this way, and quite a few in the 99%.

“There is only one remedy that can completely restore Cosby to the status quo ante.

No, there are no remedies that can completely restore him to the status quo ante. He’s lost three years that can’t be given back.

D’s spent vast sums to get a majority of woketards on this “court”.

To give you an idea of the results, the R majority in the State’s legislature, which under the Constitution has specific authority to draw State and Federal district lines after each census, had their plan overturned by the Court.

The Court then hired, on its own, a D activist to redraw the lines. What he came up with was far more favorable to the D’s than the State legislature’s D caucus’ own counter-proposal to the R’s plan had been.

The result was that the PA House contingent gained at least 5 seats.

Anyone imagine there’s any legal basis for a Court to hire a handpicked activist to redraw Congressional Districts?

Same issue for the State level districts, for both chambers of the legislature.

The People – “Free Britney!”

The Universe – “You can have Cosby.”

The court was afraid to decide the other issue, whether the stream of women could testify.

Cosby was found guilty because these women trumped any reasonable doubt.

I was amazed with it all at the outset.
Bill seemed such a funny and nice guy…
You’d think there would be endless girls lined up trying to share his time.
Hence… what motivation for any of this type of conduct?
But, that is just what I thought.

Unscrupulous and dishonest prosecutors need to be reined in. Prosecutorial misconduct and abuse is widespread, and, prosecutors are hardly ever subject to court and/or state Bar discipline. This decision strikes me as the legally correct and objectively fair result, even if people don’t like Cosby, personally.

I think Bill Cosby is guilty but to quote Blackstone’s Law “It is better to let ten guilty persons escape than to let one innocent person suffer”-Guilty people like Bill Cosby walking free on a technicality is simply the price of having our system of justice.

Blame the prosecutors who botched everything.

    Milhouse in reply to Danny. | July 2, 2021 at 3:00 am

    The prosecutors didn’t botch anything. There was nothing any prosecutor could have done that would have preserved the ability to try and convict Cosby. The only thing botched was that the original DA ought not to have simply made a press release; he ought to have gone to court and obtained a proper grant of transactional immunity for Cosby. Then the trial could never have happened in the first place.

      Barry in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2021 at 5:02 pm

      The prosecutor botched it when they tried and convicted Cosby. That is exactly what the PA SC just said.

      What they might have done, or might not have done is immaterial. The court has ruled what they did was wrong, and overturned the ruling, and allowing for no retrial.

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