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Hard lessons for lawyers in the Cosby case.More demanding for victims | Life / Entertainment

Philadelphia (AP) —This week, seven judges who overturned Bill Cosby’s conviction discuss whether there is a secret agreement with a prosecutor who has defiled the 2018 sexual assault conviction. Spent several months for.

In the end, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the district attorney had led Cosby to testify that he had committed the proceedings, promising no criminal charges. Ten years later, another prosecutor used it against him — a fundamental breach of his fifth amendment. “American Dad” will leave prison on Wednesday and will not face any further trials in this case.

Public protests against the sudden release of Cosby could be sentenced to 10 years in 3 years were swift, and #MeToo activists worried that it would have a chilling effect on survivors. .. And Harvey Weinstein, another prominent male lawyer convicted of sexual assault, praised the decision.

However, criminal law experts believe that even by successors, the court acted reasonably to determine that the prosecutor’s words should be respected. One called the decision to awaken for prosecutors who might quietly try to resolve the case without a paper trail or try to trade with a handshake.

Professor Laurie Levenson, a former prosecutor at Loyola Law School, said of the hidden arrangements in the Cosby case, “it would have been a much better lawyer to get everything in writing.” “I think this is a moment to be taught by prosecutors across the country. That’s a big lesson.”

Levenson is also afraid of the quick take-out of “another celebrity fleeing for a crime.” Deeper, she said, the case demonstrates the need for an “open, fair and transparent” legal agreement.

“For survivors of sexual assault, it must be another incredibly upset and frustrating moment,” she said. “So there are good lessons for prosecutors and difficult lessons for survivors.”

The court heard the debate in December. On Wednesday, a majority of judges, 6-1, decided that Cosby’s proceedings should be overturned. However, the judge was divided into 4-2 as to whether he should be free or face a third trial. The two dissenting judges said that Cosby had really been promised immunity, or that abuse of power was “strange and always” about the promise to Cosby by former Montgomery County prosecutor Bruce Castor. I wondered if it led to a “changing explanation.”

They urged their colleagues to blame the tactics and refused to promise that others would imitate and trap the defendant who agreed to speak later.

“We need to completely reject Caster’s misconceptions and declare that the district attorney does not have this effective amnesty,” Judge Kevin Dougherty partially challenged. I am writing in.

Caster testifies to defense Shortly after Cosby was arrested in late 2015, he told Cosby’s lawyer in 2005 that he had promised that the actor would never be prosecuted for his encounter with Andrea Constand.

No legal document was drafted. There was no disclaimer before the judge. Even the caster’s top assistant, who led the initial investigation, said she knew nothing about it. Neither was the constant lawyer, according to the testimony of the occasional surreal preliminary hearing in February 2016.

Mr. Caster said he had discussed an agreement with Cosby, who died later. He said he had issued a signed press release to announce the end of the investigation. Since then, several courts have analyzed the wording of the press release, stating that both parties in the case could be considered “less than flattering,” and Castor said, “if the need arises.” We will review this decision. “

Following that decision, Constant sued Cosby in federal court.

In subsequent testimony recordings, the pioneering actor admitted that he was crazy about a series of sexual encounters with young women. He allowed them to be given drugs and alcohol in advance while calm and in control. The list contained constants. Constant took what he thought was an herbal product at Cosby’s direction, but noticed that he was semi-conscious on the couch.

Cosby famously said he had adventured “in an area somewhere between permits and denials” as the constant lay still in the deposit.

Neither he nor his lawyer has claimed his fifth amendment right to innocent himself during the four-day oath testimony.

“If Cosby could have been prosecuted, Cosby would have been crazy to say them,” Caster testified at a 2016 hearing. He stated that his goal in leading the proceedings to civil court was to constantly find another form of justice.

“I was hoping to make Mr. Constant a millionaire,” said Donald Trump in a second impeachment trial acquitted of inciting a violent mob that struck the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Caster, who represented former President Trump, said.

In 2015, a federal judge opened some of Cosby’s testimony at the request of the Associated Press, and Caster’s successor resumed the case. Judge Stephen O’Neill Allowed some statements to be used in court.

It was the extraordinary sequence of events that plagued the Pennsylvania High Court. Although O’Neill and the Lower Court of Appeals found the story of Caster’s non-indictment agreement unreliable.

Whatever their view of such a comprehensive promise, Supreme Court judges have found that Cosby and his lawyers trust it in granting deposits.

Therefore, “the basic principles of justice that underpin the legitimate procedure of law in the criminal justice system require that promises be fulfilled,” said Judge David N. Wect, a three-woman trial in the High Court. I wrote about the majority of the four, including all the officials. ..

The Commission has avoided a ruling on the annoying issue of the number of witnesses who should be allowed to testify about the defendant’s previous wrongdoing in a criminal case. This is a problem that many lawyers wanted to clarify.

O’Neill allowed only one other whistleblower to testify in Cosby’s first trial in 2017, but increased that number to five in a retrial the year after Cosby was convicted. I did.

“Everyone was watching this case for a” other evidence “decision. Jules Epstein, a professor of law at Temple University, said:

In his sole opinion, at least one judge, Thomas Sailor, would have sent the case back for a new trial on the “other whistleblower” issue. However, it is controversial when the majority agrees to ban future prosecution in this case.

Washington lawyer Joseph Kammarata represented several whistleblowers in a defamation proceeding filed against Cosby, and his insurer settled after conviction in 2018. He regrets that some people consider the decision to be evidence of an actor.

“They have not rejected the claims of more than 60 people who claimed that Cosby had attacked them. They have not rejected the five who testified. Also, the crimes associated with Cosby’s sexual assault. I have never rejected the jury’s verdict that he was guilty of. “


Follow Maryclaire Dale on Twitter.

Hard lessons for lawyers in the Cosby case.More demanding for victims | Life / Entertainment

Source link Hard lessons for lawyers in the Cosby case.More demanding for victims | Life / Entertainment

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