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Cosby Mistrial Won't Change Public Opinion

Cosby Mistrial Won't Change Public Opinion
Actor and comedian Bill Cosby leaves with his publicist Andrew Wyatt outside the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 17, 2017, in Norristown, Pennsylvania. After 52 hours of deliberation, a mistrial was announced in Cosby's sexual assault trial. (Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

By Thursday, 29 June 2017 11:29 AM Current | Bio | Archive

When there is a closely-contested election, the recount takes place immediately so irregularities can be investigated while they are still fresh in the minds of witnesses.

Likewise, after a car accident, the first two things we immediately do are call the police, and notify our insurance company.  We don’t wait a year or even a week. The rationale is obvious: recounting exactly what happened is always most accurate when details are front-and-center in our consciousness. Conversely, memories become fuzzier as each day passes, reaching a point where the event fades into a blur as critical details become lost to time.

So it’s no surprise that Bill Cosby wasn’t found guilty in his sexual assault trial. After all, his accuser, Andrea Constand, chose not to immediately report the incident to police after it allegedly occurred. Instead, she waited. And waited some more. Ultimately, it took Constand a full year to file a criminal complaint, which, as she admitted, led to memory lapses and fuzzy details. Combined with other Constand inconsistencies, that gave jurors enough reasonable doubt to bring about a mistrial.

Welcome to O.J. Simpson, Part Two, where a not-particularly nice person allegedly did some not-particularly nice things, but where, despite significant probability that illegalities occurred, wasn’t a case compelling enough to warrant a conviction. In the O.J. trial, prosecutorial incompetence led to credibility loss, thus creating reasonable doubt for Simpson. In the Cosby case, Constand was the biggest pitfall, as her credibility declined throughout the trial.

Here is look at what happened:

1) The District Attorney at time of the incident, Bruce Castor, declined to press charges in 2004 due to lack of evidence. Did he want to? Yes. But "the problem with the case was she waited a year until she told police about it." Because of that delay, no physical and forensic evidence could be gathered, nor could blood, urine, and fingernail samples be taken, and no search warrant of Cosby’s home could be issued. Therefore, despite his belief that Cosby had lied during questioning, Castor decided to pass on charging him.

So if a remarkably successful D.A. didn’t think he could convict Cosby a year after the encounter, what made current D.A. Kevin Steele think he could win 13 years later?

2) Constand’s testimony was filled with inconsistencies. Two glaring ones that likely affected the jury were: A) stating that she had never been alone with Cosby before (when, in reality, she had been alone with him in a hotel room before their encounter at Cosby’s house), and B) stating that she had cut off contact with Cosby after the incident, when in fact they had communicated via 72 phone calls, 53 of which were initiated by Constand.

Additionally, Constand, several months after the incident, requested tickets through Cosby’s representatives to attend one of his shows (along with her family). Finally, Constand admitted to freely taking the pills Cosby offered her, as opposed to having them discreetly slipped in her drink.

Does any of this mean that she wasn’t sexually assaulted by Cosby? Absolutely not. Constand may well be telling the truth, but it’s not what you know — it’s what you can prove. 

Constand’s delay in filing a police report, and her numerous inconsistencies, possibly along with her appearance in court — like it or not, appearance matters, and showing up in sneakers and casual clothes was perhaps a mistake — combined to poke enough holes in her credibility to create a hung jury.

3) Constand received a financial settlement from Cosby after filing a civil suit, of which the jury was unaware. And criminal charges were filed on the last day before the statute of limitations expired (twelve years after the incident). In the court of public opinion, her credibility was significantly damaged, as many viewed her actions as rooted in the pursuit of headlines, book deals, and another payday.

4) Where does it go from here?

A second trial will have no better chance of conviction, and will require a huge outlay of taxpayer money. Cosby, at 79 years old, poses no danger to society, and certainly is no longer a threat to women. Since he will be hounded by never-ending civil suits for the rest of his life, and has seen his reputation plunge from America’s Dad to dirtball in the eyes of millions, perhaps it’s time for the D.A. to move on.

And we’re left lamenting about how our beloved Dr. Huxtable went so terribly wrong.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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When there is a closely-contested election, the recount takes place immediately so irregularities can be investigated while they are still fresh in the minds of witnesses.
cosby, mistrial, andrea constand
Thursday, 29 June 2017 11:29 AM
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