No matter what people think of Bill Cosby, the fact remains that he wasn't given due process in his trial proceedings and an appeals court made the right decision to free him from prison because he shouldn't have been tried in the first place, Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz argued on Newsmax Thursday.
"He can't get his 2.5 years back," Dershowitz said on Newsmax's "National Report." "He made a deal. He was promised that he wouldn't be prosecuted. As a result of that, he testified in the civil case, which he wouldn't have had to do. He could have pleaded the Fifth Amendment."
The 82-year-old comedian's conviction was overturned Wednesday, when Pennsylvania's highest court ruled that the prosecutor who brought the criminal case against Cosby was bound by the agreement the prosecutor had made with him in exchange for his sworn statements, in which he admitted to obtaining quaaludes and giving them to women and then having sex with them while they were drugged.
"His testimony in the civil case was used against him by a prosecutor who ran for office on the claim that he would violate the promise and he would prosecute him, and the court looked at that and said no, that's a violation of due process," Dershowitz said. "You're not given due process when a prosecutor makes a promise, and then a subsequent prosecutor breaks the promise after you've relied on it and provided evidence that you wouldn't have had to provide. It's a very simple case. He never should have been prosecuted in the first place."
Dershowitz also rejected the argument that Cosby was released on a "legal technicality."
"It's a constitutional basis," he said "It's what we fought the revolution about; it is what we're celebrating July 4th about. The Constitution provides that no person shall be prosecuted without due process of law. So it's anything but a technicality. It's the heart and soul of our legal system."
Dershowitz also commented on the indictments that have been handed down against former President Donald Trump's namesake company, the Trump Organization, and its Chief Financial Officer Alan Weisselberg.
The tax-related charges, he said, are an attempt from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to "weaponize the criminal justice system."
"They don't generally go after people criminally for tax violations that even the IRS apparently hasn't gone after them for," said Dershowitz. "You have a Manhattan prosecutor going after somebody essentially violating federal tax law when the federal government hasn't gone after them."
In these situations, the IRS usually sends the person accused a letter ordering them to pay their taxes, and it's "rare that you get criminal prosecution for this kind of thing."
At any rate, Vance's goal is "obviously to try to flip" Weisselberg to get him to turn against Trump, the "ultimate target of any of these prosecutors," said Dershowitz.
The law expert also commented on the Britney Spears situation, after a judge ruled against removing her father from her conservatorship.
"She's an adult and she has the right to determine our own life," said Dershowitz. "Conservatorship should only be used in extraordinary cases where somebody is incompetent ... I don't agree with that decision. She should be allowed to make her own decisions and make mistakes. We all make mistakes. She's grown."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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