Turley: Cosby ruling an example where prosecutors can undermine their own case, court was ‘clearly correct'

DONNA ROTUNNO: This is such an unbelievable day for justice. When we look at the system of justice, we have to remember there’s nothing more important than the presumption of innocence, nothing more important than the way evidence is admitted at a trial, and we’re learning today you can’t allow all of these attacks to come in. These uncharged crimes with vague evidence. I think the court was very clear on the fact that if you make a deal, that deal should mean something, and bringing in the uncharged crimes was quite a problem here. I think this is not only a wonderful day for the system under which we all live, but it’s a wonderful day for others who are sitting in prison looking at this same type of situation.

JONATHAN TURLEY: I think the court was clearly correct. This was a trial that became entirely untethered from basic principles of due process. This is part of the corrosive effect of high-profile trials. The prosecutors, the judge, discarded basic guarantees of a defendant. Here, an earlier prosecutor determined that he did not have evidence to try [Bill] Cosby on these charges. So he agreed he would not do so if Cosby agreed to participate in depositions. He took four depositions. The depositions were clearly done on the basis of this promise. Then his successor just ignored it. It became what the court called a bait and switch. Then magnifying that problem, the court allowed these other women whose cases were not charged in the trial to essentially present their own alleged victimization. That created a pile-up of violations. This is an example where prosecutors can undermine their own case because they are getting everything that they want. This judge just let them get away with a lot of these moves, ultimately damned the case. The victims should be more upset with how the prosecutors and judge did this. If they had any chance of convicting him, they destroyed it by ignoring that agreement and having these witnesses testify on uncharged crimes.


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