Political Education

Bill Cosby and Constitutional Rights

Bill Cosby in Suit

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Bill Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction yesterday. In 2005, when the victim first reported the case, the District attorney chose not to prosecute Cosby criminally. Because the District attorney decided not to prosecute the case and Cosby, his attorney, and the victim’s attorney knew this, Cosby did not have to right to plead the 5th.

Bill of Rights

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Fifth Amendment United State Bill of Rights

As Americans, we have the right to not incriminate ourselves in criminal cases. Cosby gave a detailed deposition in a civil suit with the belief he would not face prosecution.

Cosby on Trial

Fast forward ten years and a new DA did not see an immunity agreement signed and chose to prosecute Cosby based on statements he made when he did not have the right to plead the 5th. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the evidence used in his trial violated Cosby’s constitutional rights and freed him because of that.

The court did not exonerate Cosby. Let me make this clear. Cosby is a disgusting abuser. But I do believe the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did the right thing. Every person in this country deserves to have their constitutional right protected and upheld. Cosby has the right to not incriminate himself in his criminal case. That was impossible in this case. His 2005 statements were made with the belief he wouldn’t be prosecuted. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the state of Pennsylvania could not retry Cosby for this crime. The prison released him two hours after the order came down.

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