Bill Cosby Released From Prison
Convicted sex offender Bill Cosby is a free man. In a shocking ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Cosby’s conviction was overturned and he was released from prison on Wednesday on the basis that his due process rights were violated.
The decision revolves around the case of victim Andrea Constand, who alleged that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2004. Constand didn’t file formal charges until 2005, presenting a mound of problems for the Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney Bruce Castor, who determined there was not enough corroborating evidence to prosecute Cosby. So, in a public statement, he announced Cosby would not be prosecuted criminally, allowing Constand to pursue a civil case, where the iconic actor would be forced to testify under penalty of perjury and without the benefit of his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
Cosby, 83, who had already served two years of his previous conviction, felt obliged to testify on his behalf, but made several incriminating statements during the trial. Castor’s successors determined they were not bound by his earlier decision and proceeded to use Cosby’s statements at a later criminal trial involving other victims. Viva Frei’s David Freiheit puts in all in perspective.