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.
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