By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
One year after Bill Cosby’s conviction on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, experts said Cosby didn’t get a fair trial for various reasons, including the #MeToo movement, the media, an unfair judge and racism.
“Dr. Bill Cosby did not receive a fair trial. It was he-said-she-said and even much of what the women said, other people contradicted,” said Oxford alum Jonathan Farley.
While the verdict against Cosby was heralded as a great milestone in justice for women accusers, law experts say they’re baffled by the conviction and even more concerned with how the case was tried.
“Judge Steven O’Neill rigged the trial to ensure that Cosby would be convicted,” said International Rights Attorney John Davis.
The trial was a “terrific example of the travesty of justice in the American courtroom for sex assault trials,” said Paul Saputo, of the Saputo Law Firm in Dallas, Texas.
“As has happened throughout American history, popular culture weighs heavily on criminal justice and I obviously don’t know whether or not Cosby is guilty of what he’s accused of, but when the justice system sacrifices fairness in procedure to tilt the scales, we have a major problem,” Saputo said.
Not only did Cosby’s accuser receive a large amount of support from the government and press, Cosby became a victim of the mass media and popular culture who won’t give him a second thought, Saputo added.
Experts said there were multiple mis-steps by the judge in the case, including allowing the use of Cosby’s infamous 2006 civil deposition.
“The alleged deposition transcript does not show Cosby drugged women without their knowledge in order to incapacitate them so that he could rape them,” said Farley. “But a juror admitted that he voted to convict Cosby based on this false belief.”
Davis added that if Castor hadn’t promised Cosby that the deposition could never be used against him, Cosby could, and likely would, have exercised his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
“Years later, a new trophy hunting District Attorney decided to violate the promises of the prosecutor’s office and filed charges against Cosby,” Davis said.
Castor testified during a preliminary hearing in the Cosby case that he did indeed have what he called a binding agreement with Cosby and that the deposition should not be used.
The new DA, Kevin Steele, argued that portions of it that are damaging to Cosby should be used.
O’Neill sided with Steele.
“That is tantamount to the judge ensuring a conviction by sneaking evidence in the back door that suggests Cosby is a bad man who has sex outside of marriage and who does drugs and provides drugs to women who are having a relationship with him,” Davis argued.
“Cosby never said in his deposition that he gave them drugs so that they would be unconscious so that he could rape them. This is a pure lie and fraud committed by the mass media,” he said.
After O’Neill refused to allow him to provide crucial testimony in Cosby’s defense, Robert Russell, a close friend of the Constand family, told Philadelphia’s YC News that Cosby accuser Andrea Constand and her mother pressed charges because of vindictiveness, racism and homophobia. “What they have done is disgraceful,” Russell said.
“I’ll never forget when she told me she’d like to see all niggers gathered together and killed. That is genocide. She spoke like Adolf Hitler,” Russell said. “I realized what I was getting involved in and got out of it like a bat out of hell. That family was dark and I don’t want anything to do with them,” he said.
Lead attorney Tom Mesereau said his team had unearthed Russell, an old friend of Constand, to bring “out the ghosts in Andrea and her mother, Gianna Constand’s past.”
Yet O’Neill blocked the lawyers from introducing the tales of drug use, greed and racism that included a deep hatred for African-Americans – a hatred so deep and dark he claimed Gianna Constand wanted to “see all niggers gathered together and killed.”
O’Neill sided with prosecutors who contended that Russell’s testimony would taint the jurors perspective on who the Constand’s were so much that it could poison their minds and likely change the outcome.
“She despised black people — she didn’t want any black men or women in her house,” Russell said.
“The prosecution entrusted this case on a family, who made it clear they ‘despised black men’ and ‘wanted revenge on black people’ after their daughter lost her boyfriend to a black woman. She didn’t like that,” Russel said, referring to Gianna Constand.
“She [Andrea] would do anything to please her parents.”
Constand allegedly had a brief relationship with NBA star Steve Nash which was cut short after he was photographed with a black woman, who Andrea’s mother referred to as a ‘bimbo’ compared to her daughter.
“You have a lying mother, the personification of evil who likely urged her daughter to file charges after her parents saw Andrea gained nothing out of the relationship with Bill Cosby.” Russell said.
“[Gianna] said if she ever saw her daughter in an interracial relationship she would stop her and if she couldn’t, she’d make something up,” he said. “It all goes back to her very first boyfriend. Her mother put all her hopes in Nash — her mother was devastated when that photo came out with him and a black woman,” Russell said.
Still, the defense’s strongest argument on appeal is the judge’s erroneous decision to allow five additional women to testify against Cosby, said attorney David Reischer, CEO of LegalAdvice.com.
“Specifically, the trial court abused its discretion, erred and materially infringed on Cosby’s constitutional rights to Due Process of Law under the Constitution of the United States. The judge should not have allowed the admittance of five prior ‘bad act witnesses,’” Reischer said. “The witnesses’ allegations were too far remote in time and too dissimilar to the Plaintiff’s allegations.”
As Cosby sits in prison pending appeal, unanswered questions remain.
“How come the only person in jail through the #MeToo movement is a black man? And it seems that the next possible conviction will be R. Kelly, another black man,” said Beth Logan, a Massachusetts-based certified IRS Tax Agent.
“Maybe I am wrong about the ‘only’ person, there might be one or two others,” Logan said. “But seriously, where is Harvey W, Matt Lauer, and others. Maybe they are out of work, but I find it amazing that jail is only for black people and no, I am not black, but I’m still concerned about the difference,” she said.