Social Question

chyna's avatar

Bill Cosby is to be released from prison because his conviction on sexual assault was thrown out. Do you think he should be freed?

Asked by chyna (46829points) 2 months ago
34 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

As asked.

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DharmaBum's avatar

I don’t think he should be a free man, but I don’t see how he can be kept in prison if his conviction was overturned.

Caravanfan's avatar

It’s a failure of the US Justice system.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’m not sure. In a sense, he might be punished more outside a prison. There is nowhere he might go without being publicly shunned and despised. His legal expenses and future costs due to restitution damages owed his victims must surely destroy him financially. Whatever short time remains of his life will be prison enough. With his reputation in the toilet, bars are just surplus flourish to his eternal and total humiliation.

zenvelo's avatar

“Hey-Hey-Hey! Out on a technicality means technically innocent!”

He is free as a bird, unless they try to prosecute him again. But getting another conviction won’t be at all easy.

janbb's avatar

It just shows that the ones with the best (funded) lawyers are usually the winners. Money talks, Cosby walks…....

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
kritiper's avatar

He is 83 years old and the PA Supreme Court decided he should be released. So be it!

(That’s not saying the court of public opinion will be as lax with him!)

YARNLADY's avatar

Being out of prison is not the same as being free in his case. His reputation and life style are ruined.

Response moderated
gorillapaws's avatar

Constitutionally, yes. It sucks the prosecutors fucked up so badly, and he morally should be locked up for the rest of his life, but legally, I agree with the court’s decision. You can’t compel someone to testify against themself. That’s one of the cornerstones of American jurisprudence.

@zenvelo There’s a big difference between “innocent” and “not guilty.”

zenvelo's avatar

@gorillapaws I get that, But ” of the cornerstones of American jurisprudence.” is innocent until proven guilty and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has declared the case as non-proven. Therefore, innocent.

gorillapaws's avatar

@zenvelo We know he committed these acts, therefore he’s not “innocent.” The evidence proving this was ruled inadmissible so the guilty verdict was reversed. I think “not-guilty” is the appropriate label in this case.

ucancallme_Al's avatar

He’ll be dead soon, so who cares?

LuckyGuy's avatar

He will be hounded by civil suits for the rest of his life. With him out there is a chance his victims can be compensated.
As a taxpayer I’d rather have him out and potentially paying victims rather than us paying $100,000 per year to keep him safe in prison.

Note: The 100k is my number. I’ve heard it costs 30–40k/year to keep a prisoner incarcerated for a year. I figure they are spending a lot more to protect him.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Not surprised. This is America, you get all the justice you can afford. Guilty or not. Justice may be “blind”, but it can still smell a buck. Not dissimilar to our “health care” system.

ragingloli's avatar

And look at why they reversed the conviction.
Because Cosby made a deal with a previous prosecutor that there would be no criminal prosecution if he agreed to testify in a civil case.
And because they said that a group of witnesses, whose testimony established a pattern of sexual abuse, should not have been allowed to testify.

It is a fucking joke.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Wow, yes, in this circumstance it appears he got a deal and they have to stick to it.

The panel of Pennsylvania State Supreme Court judges said in their opinion that the former Montgomery County district attorney’s decision to not prosecute Cosby in 2005 in return for his deposition in a civil case was ultimately used against him at trial, the judges said.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Doesn’t matter what I think. Seems like prosecutor lied and cheated, so Cosby gets off on a technicality.

Cosby’s reputation is shot anyway.

Getting out of jail does not wash away his guilt – he clearly did what he was accused of.

chyna's avatar

@LuckyGuy I was thinking about that also. I was wondering if they can bring a civil suit since all the previous cases or allegations against him are past the statute of limitations. I don’t know if it applies civilly or not.
I think this is a huge step back for women who have been molested and I hope it has no bearing on the Harvey Weinstein case.

canidmajor's avatar

“Why didn’t they come forward?” is asked so often.
This is why.

filmfann's avatar

He says he was tricked into telling the truth.
He belongs in jail.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@canidmajor stated it correctly. This is why women don’t report sex crimes.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I think that @canidmajor and @Hawaii_Jake are drawing the wrong conclusions from this. And please, I am in no way supporting Cosby or what he did.

It’s a mistake to say “this is why women don’t report sex crimes” in the context of Cosby’s release. The judge sentenced Cosby after the jury found him guilty. There is not one iota of question about guilt. The women who testified were listened to and believed; their word was golden and ther testimony righteous.

The guilty person – the person who go Cosby released – was the Pennsylvania prosecutor who lied to the defense and broke an agreement. It was his action – not anything exculpatory that Cosby did or said – that got him off.

So be mad at the prosecutor. I am.

But to say “that’s why women don’t report sex crimes” is a huge leap to make – it simply isn’t supported—unless you think that:
a) the prosecutor was in cahoots with the Cosby defense team
b) that Cosby’s defense guys were OK with Cosby going to jail for a couple years
c) the Pa. Supreme Court was in on the conspiracy to release Cosby from the start.

That’s ridiculous

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

^He got off. That’s the bottom line. He’s free to sexually assault more women. How has justice been served? He is not in jail. He’s walking the streets. His victims have endured years of trauma-related mental health issues, and he’s free. How he got to be free is a joke.

JLeslie's avatar

I think he gets out because of the screw up by the prosecutor and that’s how the law works.

It sucks this happened, because I think he should be in jail.

I think most everyone believes he is guilty.

The women should not feel like they wasted their time. I understand their sadness and anger, but most of America and the world believe them.

Moreover, I do think the women who came forward in this case helped a future generation of women to avoid being sexually assaulted. Women will be more cautious hopefully. I know a lot of people will dislike me saying that. Women will say no more often (I realize Cosby was drugging the women and took away their ability to say no). Maybe men will be less likely to try to take advantage of women.

I think women often don’t report because they want to normalize the situation for many reasons. They are just trying to get through what happened to them. Depending on who harmed them can affect their decision on whether they report it or not. Very often women are assaulted by people they know or people their family would not want to believe the person could do such a thing.

Yellowdog's avatar

So much for “New Coke” and “Jello Pudding.”

Nobody likes him, and he’s ugly as shit. That’s punishment enough.

JLeslie's avatar


canidmajor's avatar

No, @elbanditoroso, it’s not inappropriate to say “this is why women don’t come forward”. The point is for one reason or another, a wealthy, powerful man who committed these crimes is out walking around. If he was Joe Regular Guy he wouldn’t be. It really kind of is that simple.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Money talks. And the justice system is rigged to favor the wealthy. Always has been.

Yellowdog's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, ugly. Last time I saw him, he was old, dried-up and caulky looking.

Not a threat to anyone in his feeble state, but uglier than any of us would want to spend the rest of our lives looking like that,

Although I admire his wholesome image and message of the 1970s-2000s era, he started and ended as a sleazebag and spent too much time at the Playboy Mansion for somebody who wants to appear safe with families and children—and too many women came forward for me to still think he is innocent of a life of whoopee and sex crimes.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Nomore_lockout Exactly right.

Forever_Free's avatar

No matter what the courts did on this case and how it was overturned:

May he take a nice ride down the river Cocytus

mazingerz88's avatar

First, no. Secondly, yes. I have a bad feeling this was a set-up. Can’t help to think that seemingly dumb DA was not dumb at all. Cosby paid him to make those decisions that will lead to this. It’s a conspiracy!

flutherother's avatar

It doesn’t give you confidence in the justice system and that isn’t a good thing. It should operate the same way for rich and poor alike but that isn’t happening. The United States is supposed to be a land of equality but there are the rich and there are the poor and they live in two different countries.

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