By Anne T. Sulton, Ph.D., J.D.
JA Senior International Correspondent
Internationally renowned comedian, actor, and philanthropist Dr. William Cosby was released from prison June 30, 2021. His sexual assault conviction was reversed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
For three years, Dr. Cosby was imprisoned while awaiting decision on his appeal.
In its 79-page long decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reaffirmed the Fifth Amendment’s constitutional protection against self-incrimination. The Court explained that “the discretion vested in our Commonwealth’s prosecutors, however vast, does not mean that its exercise is free of the constraints of due process. When an unconditional charging decision is made publicly and with the intent to induce action and reliance by the defendant, and when the defendant does so to his detriment (and in some instances upon the advice of counsel), denying the defendant the benefit of that decision is an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was foregone for more than a decade.”
Howard University’s new Dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts and actress Phylicia Rashad tweeted: “FINALLY!!! A terrible wrong is being righted – a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” Since his arrest nearly four years ago, Dean Rashad has been a steadfast supporter of Dr. Cosby.