Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear Bill Cosby case

Comedian Bill Cosby has served more than two years of a 3-to-10-year prison sentence.   
Photo special to the Outlook

By Stacy M. Brown

NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

@StacyBrownMedia

For comedian Bill Cosby, freedom and possible exoneration comes down to his attorneys’ oral arguments before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on last Tuesday.

Cosby has served more than two years of a 3-to-10-year prison sentence after a jury convicted him of aggravated indecent assault. His longtime spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, joined the Black Press on the morning of the hearings.

Wyatt helped to dissect the proceedings as they are happening and provide exclusive thoughts and commentary throughout the hearing.

Cosby’s supporters hope the proceedings will conclude with the court siding with the comedian.

“We’re excited about this day,” Wyatt told Black Press USA. “We have been looking for a fair hearing, which we didn’t get during the trial.”

Because of the pandemic, no one was allowed in the courtroom, but the justices allowed for live video viewing of the hearing.

All remote oral arguments before the state have Supreme Court are proceeding like traditional in-person, a court spokeswoman wrote in an email.

That means Cosby’s attorneys got two minutes for opening remarks, after which arguments will transition to a question and answer format. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele was also afforded two minutes for opening remarks and a question and answer period from the justices.

After each argument, the court took a brief break, at which time counsel for the opposing side joined the videoconference.

This year, the court agreed to hear Cosby’s appeal, citing a deal the entertainer made with former District Attorney Bruce Castor in 2006. Castor asked Cosby to waive his Fifth Amendment rights to sit for a deposition in a civil case brought by accuser Andrea Constand.

He promised that whatever Cosby said during that deposition could never be used as a basis for criminal action against him.

After Steele took over as District Attorney, he reneged on what many legal experts called a “sacred agreement” between a defendant and a prosecutor.

Cosby’s attorneys protested.

However, Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neil sided with Steele and ignored the agreement.

The high court also noted it would hear Cosby’s appeal based on O’Neil’s ruling to allow five women to testify to decades-old and uncharged allegations against Cosby.

While some legal experts have said the Supreme Court could immediately rule, others expect a decision next Spring.

“We are hopeful that Mr. Cosby will finally get justice,” Wyatt stated


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