Pennsylvania Supreme Court Has Overturned Bill Cosby’s Sexual Assault Conviction
In May 2021, Cosby was denied parole because he did not attend mandatory sex offender programs. Cosby has denied that he is guilty, and he has said that he would serve the whole 10 year sentence if that’s what it takes because he is not willing to admit guilt.
It was starting to look like Cosby might in fact have to serve all 10 years, but now things have changed. Cosby’s conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Watch the video below for more details.
Although the video said they were not sure when Cosby would be released from prison, there is an update. Cosby was released from State Correctional Institution Phoenix in Eagleville, Pennsylvania, around 2pm local time, just 2 hours after the conviction was overturned.
Cosby’s spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, said, “This is what we have been fighting for and this is justice and justice for Black America. This is justice Mr. Cosby has been fighting for. They saw the light.” Wyatt added, “He should have never been charged.”
The district attorney says that Cosby was released on a technicality. In a statement, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele explained, “He was found guilty by a jury and now goes free on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime.”
During Cosby’s first trial, the judge only allowed one additional accuser to testify. That trial resulted in a hung jury since they couldn’t reach a decision.
During Cosby’s retrial, the judge allowed 5 additional accusers to testify. According to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, testimony from additional accusers tainted the trial. Cosby cannot be tried again for this same accusation. A different accuser would need to file charges in order for the comedian to be tried again.
Cosby’s accusers are shocked that the conviction was overturned. Eden Tirl accused Cosby of sexual assault when she was 22 years old and on the set of “The Cosby Show” in 1989. She explained, “From the very beginning, the rigid constructs of the statute of limitations, did not provide protection or a pathway for justice for the women that came out against Cosby.” She added, “The outdated laws are so clearly in place–protecting men in these cases, more often than not.”
Cosby does have one person on his side. Phylicia Rashad, who played Cosby’s wife on “The Cosby Show,” tweeted, “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”
Do you think Cosby was guilty or innocent? Are you surprised that the conviction was overturned and that he has been released from jail? Do you think the fact that his conviction was overturned will discourage women from coming forward to accuse men of sexual assault in the future?