A panel of Pennsylvania State Supreme Court judges ruled that there was a “vast” violation of Bill Cosby’s due process rights when he was criminally charged and convicted, a decade after a previous prosecutor had declined to prosecute him.
The panel of judges say in their opinion released Wednesday that when former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor investigated allegations of drugging and rape against Bill Cosby by a woman named Andrea Constand in 2005, Castor felt that
“he would not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Cosby drugged and raped Constand.”
The judges wrote,
“Seeking ‘some measure of justice’ for Constand, D.A. Castor decided that the Commonwealth would decline to prosecute Cosby for the incident involving Constand, thereby allowing Cosby to be forced to testify in a subsequent civil action, under penalty of perjury, without the benefit of his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.
In light of these circumstances, the subsequent decision by successor D.A.s to prosecute Cosby violated Cosby’s due process rights.”
The judges weighed different remedies – including having another trial for Cosby – but felt there was only one remedy that could serve as a proper remedy. They wrote,
“He must be discharged, and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred. We do not dispute that this remedy is both severe and rare. But it is warranted here, indeed compelled.”
(Photo, YouTube; via CNN)