Bill Cosby is being released from prison today after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated his conviction, saying his due process rights were violated.
Cosby, 83, was serving a 10-year prison sentence for aggravated indecent assault after being convicted in the 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand. Cosby convicted of drugging and molesting the Temple University employee at his suburban estate.
Cosby’s publicist, Andrew Wyatt said he will be picking him up from prison within hours
In a ruling released Wednesday, the state Supreme Court concluded that Cosby’s prosecution should never have occurred due to a deal the comedian cut with former Montgomery County prosecutor Bruce Castor, who agreed not to criminally prosecute Cosby if he agreed to give a deposition in a civil case brought against him by Constand.
During that deposition, Cosby made incriminating statements that Castor’s successor, Kevin R. Steele, used to charge Cosby in 2015.
“The discretion vested in our Commonwealth’s prosecutors, however vast, does not mean that its exercise is free of the constraints of due process,” the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices wrote in their 79-page decision.
“When an unconditional charging decision is made publicly and with the intent to induce action and reliance by the defendant, and when the defendant does so to his detriment (and in some instances upon the advice of counsel), denying the defendant the benefit of that decision is an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was foregone for more than a decade,” the justices wrote.
“For these reasons, Cosby’s convictions and judgment of sentence are vacated, and he is discharged.”
The state Supreme Court said Cosby cannot be retried on the same charges.
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