On Wednesday, The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the indecent assault conviction of Bill Cosby and ordered his release from prison after finding that he was denied protection against self-incrimination.
According to the court, a prosecutor’s decision not to charge Cosby, 83, in an earlier case opened the door for him to speak freely in a lawsuit against him, thinking he would not incriminate himself criminally. A second prosecutor later used the lawsuit testimony in a criminal trial, and that testimony was key in his conviction years later.
Cosby was convicted on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault in 2018 of drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004 and was serving a three- to 10-year sentence. He has served nearly three years of the sentence.
The news of Cosby’s release caused a lot of criticism and debate on both sides of the aisle.
To the people saying that Bill Cosby’s release is justice, let me remind you that there was mountains of evidence and testimony from his victims on the stand while they were looking him in the eye.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) June 30, 2021
And one BBC reporter who was filing a live story on the decision should probably sleep with one eye open from here on out because, in the greatest Freudian slip of all time, the reporter referred to Bill Cosby as “Bill Clinton.”
The BBC just released ‘Bill Clinton’ from prison 😂 pic.twitter.com/MOUQcMZSdl
— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) June 30, 2021
According to NBC News:
The freed Cosby was driven to his home Elkins Park, which is about 25 miles southeast of the prison. He was helped out of the car while wearing a maroon T-shirt and baggy blue pants.
Cosby emerged from the house a short time later wearing a T-shirt of Central High School in Philadelphia. A handful of supporters cheered him with shouts of “hey, hey, hey,” an homage to the animated character he voiced, Fat Albert.
He raised a fist but did not answer any questions from reporters.
Cosby later called into local Philadelphia radio station WDAS-FM, where he said the audience needed “clarity, they need guidance.”
“Because this is not just a Black thing,” Cosby said. “This is for all the people who have been imprisoned wrongfully regardless of race, color, or creed. Because I met them in there. People who talked about what happened and what they did. And I know there are many liars out there.”