Why Bill Cosby was released from prison

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Why Bill Cosby was released from prison

It is not my intention to defend the actions of a man who clearly is guilty of rape. However, he is not the only one guilty of misconduct in this affair.

If you only read media accounts of this story, you are missing most of the important facts. Below are the first two pages of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision, verbatim. If, after you read this, you don't agree that Cosby should have been released, tell me what you think should be done about the misconduct of the prosecutors.

(The entire opinion is 79 pages. If you want to read more of it, please do:



No. 39 MAP 2020
Appeal from the Order of Superior Court at No. 3314 EDA 2018 dated December 10, 2019 Affirming the Judgment of Sentence dated September 25, 2018 of the Montgomery Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, at No. CP46-CR-3932-2016

ARGUED: December 1, 2020



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.

Why Bill Cosby was released from prison
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Most Helpful Guys

  • tartaarsaus
    I read in Dutch news here that the Court didn’t say that the established guilt is contested but the process that is supposed to protect the rights of those accused was violated. Whilst it of course seems injustice to free a rapist for such things, I guess the broader implications is that the due process rights are integral to the protection of millions of people, which means they cannot be chipped away by prosecutors without consequence (such as said person being released).
    Like 2 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • I guess this ties in neatly that protection against criminals is only part of the job for the judicial branch. Protection against the government itself and arbitrary arrests is also a major part of it

    • Bingo!

  • msc545
    Seems like a due process violation.
    Like 2 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • Raise your right hand and I'll swear you in. You are absolutely correct.

    • msc545

      My hand is raised, thanks!

    • msc545

      Thanks for MHO!

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Wade8888
    He is NOT guilty of rape. He IS guilty of being a dirt-bag.

    When the women consent to taking a drug. That's THEIR fault.

    When the women under the influence of the drug (willfully) make two unwise decisions in a row (first to take the drug, then to have sex with him) and then 20 years later change their minds about it, that DOESN'T make Cosby guilty of rape. It just makes him a pathetic dirty-bag that the only way eh could get consent was by drugging the women.

    The women admitted they took the drugs willfully, and guess waht? For you christian apologists, the Book of Proverbs holds YOU guilty of what YOU do while under the influence of drugs or alchohol, including who YOU choose to have sex with.

    Therefore Cosby is not a rapist and never should have done jail time and never should have been arrested nor even questioned in the first place.

    He committed no crime.

    I'll say that again.

    He committed no crime. They never proved any crime was committed at all.

    The only thing the Prosecution proved was one or more women WILLFULLY took drugs and then WILLFULLY had sex with him, and then changed their minds about it 20 years later. That's the only thing they ever proved.
    Like 1 Person
  • BeenThereLovedIt
    I don't believe Cosby's team was ever able to provide any evidence whatsoever to support the claim that Cosby was offered (or accepted) immunity. It was an absurd claim that would have broken several precedents of the prosecutors office. The fact that several other appeals courts backed up that a made-up claim is not a fact until you got to the top. It's a scathing reminder to all of us that we really do live in two americas.
    Like 1 Person
    • What other court said that he had not been offered immunity? Do you really know that or is that something you are making up?

    • I believe it was in the news, at least the independent media (the factual kind, not the psycho conspiracy kind). I will go look it up...

    • Ok, so it looks like I was unaware of the additional detail that Castor announced that his office would not prosecute cosby. So yeah, legally speaking, cosby gets off scott-free. I've never agreed with the concept or use of plea deals. This is not even a very good example of why, but remains an example nontheless.

  • hellionthesagereborn
    Yeah, that was a screwed up situation. I listen to Viva Frei and Robert barnes to get legal breakdowns (since I am rather ignorant of the field) and they discussed this. Basically the prosecution lied and mislead Cosby which means that he who is almost certainly guilty of the crime gets to walk free because the prosecution violated due process. Pretty screwed up scenario but I honestly don't see how one could get around this (because either you let cosby get released or you endorse prosecution violating the law and due process which will completely undermine the trust in the justice system and due process.).
    Like 1 Person
  • Dragonpurple
    Well said, I usually take it a step further and say he did not rape anyone because he is not convict of it anymore, and OJ did not kill his wife either.

    Unless someone has a conviction, to me they are innocent.
    LikeDisagree 3 People
  • Anpu23
    It's obvious that the prosecutors mishandled the case. He wasn't innocent, but shouldn't have been charged. Im just afraid that this is going to create laws that make factually incorrect defendants unable to build a robust defense.
    Like 2 People
  • dreamstar72
    Money, by saying oh the devil made me do, it I’m so sorry. Oh the pressure..
    Like 1 Person
  • Tstrbrainer
    Does supreme Court's decision include emojis? 🤔.

    By the way, Supreme Court is in Washington right?
    Like 1 Person
    • Every state has a supreme court (in NY, it is called the Court of Appeals) that hears appeals from its state courts. The US Supreme Court is in Washington, D. C.

    • I guess supreme Court of each state is bound by the US supreme Court, right?

    • The US Supreme Court is the highest court with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the US Constitution and federal law. The state supreme courts are the highest courts with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the state constitutions and their state's laws.

    • Show All
  • Massageman
    This case is screwier than a three dollar bill. I'm sure there is plenty of blame for everyone concerned to have a heaping portion of it. Seems to be just another case where appeals are made for WHATEVER. REASON. no matter how arcane, to get someone off the hook. So many cases are just appeal after appeal after appeal after appeal after appeal until someone gets off. Why not let the prosecution have ten or twenty shots too? Seems only fair. sigh
  • Likes2drive
    It just seems like they never had any real hard evidence especially when they came forward so many years later, it was all their word against his , not saying he didn’t do it but they probably couldn’t prove it without a doubt
    Like 1 Person
  • Pogi-Paddy-2
    Bill Cosby was released on a legal technicality by the prosecutor Bruce Castor (*) saying that Bill Cosby would not be prosecuted with the testimony from his civil trial. When Bill Cosby was put on trial, Bill Cosby's civil trial testimony was used against him in the criminal trial.

    So that technicality was that Bill Cosby's testimony was used against him in the criminal trial. Here in lies the technicality that he was told that his testimony in the civil trial was used against him when he was guaranteed that he would not be prosecuted with his own testimony in a criminal trial.

    (*) Bruce Castor was Donald Trump's defense lawyer during the first impeachment trial.

    Don't get me wrong, I still believe that Bill Cosby is GUILTY OF DRUGGING WOMEN AND BEING A SEXUAL DEVIANT, and I am disgusted that he was released on a technicality.

    Like 1 Person
    • I never suggested that he had been exonerated.

    • msc545

      This is not a "technicality". This is literally a violation of the part of the Constitution concerning the right to due process. I think that is quite serious.

    • Semantics

    • Show All
  • douride2
    I know why he was released. He is still a rapist though.
    LikeDisagree 5 People
  • hi_it_is_me123
    What? Do rapists usually stay in prison forever in america, or why people are suprised at this? One year ago rapists only have to stay 6 month-2 years but now their jail time is min. 2 years and max. 10 years in austria
    • I dont know the content by the way lol

    • Depending on which state, the circumstances of the crime, and the defendant's criminal history, he could get a life sentence for rape.

    • Wow interesting. I did not know this

    • Show All
  • Coll24
    How you know he's quilty. Seems like you want him tobe for some reason 🧤🐒
    Like 1 Person
    • I have no opinion on his guilt. I haven't reviewed the evidence.

  • Iron_Man
    He served his time he’s a free man. He is already an old man what are we gonna do have him die in prison he didn’t deserve that.
    Like 2 People
  • Neko911
    What exactly did cause him 2 b released... I'm 2 tired and lazy honestly 2 read and check
    Like 1 Person
    • The prosecution lied to him saying they wouldn't charge him if they just told them what they wanted to hear. He did, then they charged him anyway. You can't do that in the legal system.

      I know every woman who is shitting themselves over his release would be equally if not more pissed off if some prosecutor did the same thing to them for a crime that couldn't actually be proven happened or not.

      They all need to remember it's guilty by evidence not guilty by popular consensus.

    • @SlightlyEccentric so you're saying the prosecuting attorney or team of attorneys can't lie to get a confession? Cause the police sure do along with all types of ways getting what they want from a suspect which I'm sure the prosecution is often guilty of it's just most defendants aren't able to afford a descent lawyer so the prosecution gets away with it. It's a shame it didn't work this time.

    • Jamie05rhs

      You're also too tired and too lazy to spell out the words "to" and "too."

    • Show All
  • 007kingifrit
    i know what the prosecutor did was wrong but im still disgusted cosby was released
    Like 1 Person
  • White_Boy_506
    Well considering he’s already a known rapist, I’m not too worried about him raping more people.
    Like 1 Person
  • legalboxers
    in summary.. THE DA FUCKED UP..
    Like 2 People
  • KrakenAttackin
    Pretty sleazy behavior by the DA's office.
    Like 1 Person
  • Sketti2021
  • Anonymous
    So, yes, he should technically be free. That's the fault of the legal system. He should still be locked up though. I have heard in the past that he sexually assaulted upwards of 50 women. He should still be in prison.
    Like 3 People
    • Th problem is that NONE of those women reported him at the time it happened, there is absolutely no physical evidence of a sexual assault, and it is impossible to reconstruct events after 20 years. Suppose there is an allegation that he assaulted a woman and he couldn't have done it because he was somewhere else at the time it allegedly happened. Twenty years later, he won't remember where he was on a particular day, who was with him, etc. That is why there is a time limit on prosecution of most crimes.

      That does not mean that he is innocent; I'm not saying that at all. I'm just explaining why the law is structured as it is.

    • msc545

      It also seems statistically improbable that out of 50 women NONE reported it. Could it be that some of those allegations weren't true?

    • Anonymous

      So many women don't report because they won't be believed, like you're currently proving. There is so many more reasons to not report than to give a false report

    • Show All
  • Anonymous
    He is a piece of shit
    LikeDisagree 2 People
    • And the prosecutor?

    • Anonymous

      Who did he rape?

    • That is not the only way to do something wrong; you are simply trying to deflect from my question. Do you endorse what the prosecutor did?

  • Anonymous
    Don't know if this makes a difference, but he is blind, be so since 2016 (currently age 83). Plus his income will decrease gradually as time passes, so his career is pretty much done. And finally, he will most likely be under house arrest for now, and will less likely there'll be a chance that he will attempt those acts again, so like I said, he's pretty much done.

    Don't really care if I get blasted for these opinions, just saying it's no use hanging on to the undesirable outcome of the case.
    • Anonymous

      *age 83

    • No, he was ordered to be released and the Penn Supreme Court said the entire prosecution was illegal. He will not be under house arrest.

    • Anonymous

      Oh okay, thanks for letting me know 👍

  • Anonymous
    I think he's a big ol pervert and he should get arrested again
    LikeDisagree 2 People
    • That would violate his Constitutional rights.

    • Anonymous

      He doesn’t deserve rights!

    • If your Constitutional rights depend on being the subject of favorable public opinion, then you have no guaranteed rights at all.

    • Show All
  • Anonymous
    Really older and wiser. You are very intelligent man. Lawyer I suppose. Never commenting to your. Real oppinion. Great dance
    Like 2 People
  • Anonymous
    No way! A black person doing something wrong 🤔. Hide all the leftists.
    LikeDisagree 2 People