In a shocking turn of events, Bill Cosby will be released from prison today after the charges against him were overturned by Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. Even though multiple women testified in court that Cosby sexually assaulted them on numerous occasions over 30 years, the justices ruled that he did not see a fair trial, according to CNN.
In the beginning of the Cosby case, Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor told Cosby that he would not be prosecuted, which led him to make incriminating comments that were used against him in trial. This ruling is not being made because the wrong decision was made by the jury, but because many members of the court didn’t do their job properly along the way.
In the ruling, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justices said that 5 of the female witnesses who were abused by Cosby should not have been allowed to testify in court, because they might make him appear more guilty, even though their stories were credible. The justices felt that previous crimes committed by Cosby were irrelevant to the case because they were beyond the statute of limitations.
They also cited the mistake made by Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor, which led Cosby to make incriminating statements about himself.
Cosby was facing numerous accusations from many different women at the time of his arrest, but the only accusations that the court had any legal jurisdiction over was a case in 2004 when he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman named Andrea Constand at his home in Pennsylvania.
Constand immediately went to the police at the time but Montgomery County DA Bruce Castor refused to press charges at the time. Cosby later admitted to using Quaaludes to drug women during a civil case.
Attorney Janice Dickinson, who represents some of Cosby’s victims, said, “The 3 Bill Cosby accusers I represent and I are disgusted that he is a free man today. He is not released because he is innocent. He is released because a prosecutor promised him years ago that he would not be brought to justice, without even making a deal for him to do time.”
At least 60 women have testified against Cosby to illustrate a similar pattern of behavior over many years.
In 2018, he was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to between three and ten years in prison. Now that he was released from prison under these pretenses, lawyers for other cases involving these types of crimes may have a chance of overturning their client’s sentences as well.
It can be very hard to gather evidence for these types of crimes, so it is essential that prosecutors are able to show a pattern of behavior when there are many victims that date back many years. Statute of limitations should not really apply to these types of crimes because predators of this nature continue to hurt people throughout their lives. If someone was victimized, they should be able to speak up in court and have their testimony be taken seriously.