Bill Cosby: Prosecutors ask US Supreme Court to reconsider case against comedian

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Prosecutors have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling that overturned Bill Cosby’s conviction, arguing in a petition Monday that a ruling announced in a press release does not grant a lifelong immunity to a accused.

Prosecutors said the ruling could set a dangerous precedent if convictions were overturned for questionable closed-door deals. They also complained that the Pennsylvania High Court Chief Justice appeared to misstate the key facts of the case when he discussed the court ruling that overturned Cosby’s conviction in a TV interview. .

“The United States Supreme Court can remedy what we believe to be a serious wrong,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele wrote in the petition, which requests a Supreme Court review under the clause. due process of the US Constitution.

Cosby’s lawyers have long argued that he relied on a promise that he would never be charged when he gave damaging testimony in a civil action against an accuser in 2006.

The confession was then used against him in two criminal trials.

The only written evidence of such a promise is a 2005 press release from then-prosecutor Bruce Castor, who said he did not have enough evidence to stop Cosby.
The press release included an ambiguous “warning” that Castor “will reconsider this decision if necessary”. The parties have since spent years debating what this meant.

Castor’s successors, who gathered new evidence and arrested Cosby in 2015, say he’s a far cry from a lifetime immunity deal. They also doubt that Castor ever made such a deal. Instead, they say Cosby had strategic reasons for making the deposition rather than invoking his Fifth Amendment’s right to remain silent, even though it backfired when he “slipped” into his. disjointed testimony.

However, defense attorneys say the case should never have gone to trial because of what they call a “no-prosecution agreement.”

Cosby, 84, became the first celebrity convicted of sexual assault in the #MeToo era when the jury for his retrial in 2018 found him guilty of drugging and assaulting college athletic administrator Andrea Constand in 2004 .

He spent nearly three years in prison before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released him in June.

Steele’s offer to revive the business is a long plan. The United States Supreme Court accepts less than 1% of the applications it receives. Lawyers and victim advocates will be watching closely, however, to see if the court is interested in a high-profile #MeToo case.

Two court judges, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, were charged with sexual misconduct during their hotly contested confirmation hearings.

Cosby, a revolutionary black actor and comedian, created the highest-ranked Cosby Show in the 1980s. A barrage of sexual assault allegations then destroyed his image as an American father and led to multi-million court settlements. dollars with at least eight women. But Constand was the only case to lead to criminal charges.

Five of them testified for the prosecution to substantiate Constand’s claims, testimony that Cosby’s lawyers also challenged on appeal. However, the state’s high court declined to address the thorny issue of how many other accusers can testify in criminal cases before the evidence becomes unfair to the defense.

In a recent brief, Constand called the verdict less important than the growing support for survivors of sexual assault inspired by the #MeToo movement.

“The outcome of the trial seemed strangely unimportant. It was like the world had changed in a much more meaningful way again, ”Constand wrote in The Moment.

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