top of page
  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Why did Bill Cosby get released from prison? - Cliffs Notes version

The cliffs notes version of why Bill Cosby got released from prison as as follows:

Bill Cosby drugged and had sex with a woman while she was unconscious. She continued to have interactions with him and waited a very long time to report the incident to police. The District Attorney thought the case was weak and that they couldn't win. Because of that, the District Attorney promised Cosby that he would not be prosecuted and because of this promise the law said that Cosby couldn't refuse to testify in a civil case for money damages brought by the victim. The victim won the civil case and in the mean time a new District Attorney (actually two) took office. The new DA went back on the promise of the office and prosecuted Cosby anyway.

The trial judge inexplicably allowed the prosecution anyway. Cosby was convicted and sent to prison. His case was appealed. The appellate court overturned the conviction and vacated the judgement and sentence based on the broken promise of the District Attorney's Office. The court ruled that it is illegal for the District Attorney to prosecute someone they have formally agreed to not prosecute when that person relies on the decision and testifies in a civil case.


For litigants who do not have counsel: Reading this blog post does not create an attorney client relationship. Call to set up a free consultation.

For the general public: This Blog/Web Site is for educational purposes only and it provides general information and a general understanding of the law, but does not provide specific legal advice. By using this site, commenting on posts, or sending inquiries through the site or contact email, you confirm that there is no attorney-client relationship created. Don't just read this as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney.

For attorneys: This Blog is informational and educational in nature and is not a substitute for Westlaw or other research and consultation on specific matters pertaining to your clients. As you know the law can change day to day based on recent case opinions. And unfortunately you shouldn't cite it in court as binding authority because it is not. Mention it to your friends, just seek real consultation if its something important.

9 views0 comments


bottom of page