Photo: United States National Park Service

Grammy Winning Comedian Bill Cosby Released From Prison

In a stunning decision by the courts, multi-Grammy Award winning comedian, Bill Cosby, was released from prison after serving three years of an initial decade-plus long sentence.

After repeated attempts to reverse Cosby’s jail term failed to move the needle, the 83-year-sexual old’s assault conviction was overturned by Pennsylvania’s highest court on June 30. The world renown celebrity was freed from prison after more than two years in prison, a quarter of the way through his sentence.

According to the Associated Press, the Pennsylvania court decision was based on an agreement between Bill Cosby and a prior prosecutor that effectively protected the star from being prosecuted for the crime. District Attorney Kevin Steele, who made the decision to arrest Cosby, appears to have been legally obligated to uphold his predecessor’s promise not to prosecute the accused after he presented his own potentially damaging evidence in Andrea Constand’s civil complaint.

Despite the lack of written evidence that such an agreement existed, Justice David Wecht held that Cosby had the arrangement in mind when he gave his personal testimony, thinking that nothing he said would be used against him. The court believes that the “only remedy” in this case that would meet the public’s expectations of the judicial system was to reverse the conviction, with the addition of “barring any further prosecution.”

Prior to his newfound freedom, Bill Cosby was serving a ten-year sentence for allegedly assaulting accuser Andrea Constand in 2004. Fellow comedian, Hannibal Burress was the one who generated renewed interest in rape and molestation claims which led to Netflix backing out of a Cosby comedy special contract made only months prior, NBC canceling a forthcoming sitcom deal, and a slew of other business opportunities that fell apart behind the scenes.

Cosby’s first trial saw a single accuser permitted to testify after he was accused and arrested despite the statute of limitations 2015 expiration. Following a deadlocked jury the court allowed five more women to testify against Cosby in the retrial, each of whom discussed intimate details about their alleged encounters with the TV personality in the 1980s. While the testimony was initially found appropriate for demonstrating a pattern of sexually deviant behavior, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found Cosby guilty in 2018, and his sentence began in September of that year.

At press time it remains unclear if prosecutors will attempt to appeal the court’s latest decision. Meanwhile, a Bill Cosby spokeswoman stated that the comedian and his legal team are pleased with the court’s amended ruling, saying:

“This is fantastic news. We’re ecstatic, and we want to express our gratitude to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.”

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Author: Luke Traina

Photo: United States National Park Service