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PA Supreme Court hears Bill Cosby’s appeal

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NORRISTOWN, PA As the Pennsylvania Supreme Court prepares to consider an appeal of Bill Cosby’s conviction, Montgomery County prosecutors have doubled down on the case they previously presented in 2018. Meanwhile, the team from the former comedian’s defense has clung to what she sees as legal holes. in the methods used to obtain a conviction.

The June court order allowing Cosby’s appeal allows for an examination of two of the most controversial parts of the Cosby case: how prosecutors used the testimony of five women who had previously accused Cosby, and the Cosby’s “immunity” deal with the former Montgomery County District Attorney at the time the case surfaced.

“The similarity of the two crimes on its own is insufficient to warrant admitting evidence of other acts,” argues the Defender Association of Philadelphia, in a brief filed in support of Cosby’s appeal. “The question is not whether there are enough similarities, but whether the similarities demonstrate such a distinct pattern that it follows that the same person committed both crimes.”

Cosby’s team argued in June that Constand’s case “shared virtually no similarities with the accusers”, that the accusers had met Cosby in different circumstances, and that the nature of the assaults was different from the Constand case.

For the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, which continued the original case after about 14 years of testimony, inquiries, and two trials, nothing has changed since 2018. They strongly invoke the law that allows them< preuves antérieures de mauvais actes >>, and cite diagrams: the alleged victims of Cosby were given pills or drinks to alter them, each victim was in a “mentor-mentee” type relationship with Cosby, and each was alone with Cosby in her house or bedroom hotel.

“Cosby’s many attorneys handling this case have, through their filings, including the latest round of Supreme Court filings, largely ignored the facts and compelling evidence presented in court,” DA Kevin Steele said in a series of briefs published late Monday evening in support of the conviction. .

During the trial, prosecutors sought to have 19 different women testify against Cosby, while Cosby’s team wanted there to be none. Judge Steven T. O’Neill compromised and said five of them could testify.

The second element of the appeal is the long-controversial immunity agreement. Cosby says the testimony he gave shortly after this “deal” with then-DA Bruce Castor, where he mentioned quaaludes and many details of the Andrea Constand sexual assault case, could not be used. against him in court.

Steele and the prosecution continue to claim that Castor did not promise a “no prosecution forever”.

The prosecutor’s office went on to quote former President John Adams: “Facts are stubborn things and no matter what our wishes, they cannot change the state of the facts and evidence.”

In addition to the brief filed by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, supporting briefs were also filed Monday by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. In August, briefs in support of Cosby were filed by the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as well as the Defender Association of Philadelphia.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider briefs and arguments from both sides before considering the case. They have not yet set a date for the start of their official hearings.

Cosby has been booked at SCI Phoenix in Montgomery County since September 2018.

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