The publicist for convicted sex offender Bill Cosby posted a statement Monday on Instagram in response to Harvey Weinstein’s rape and sexual assault conviction, claiming it was clear that the judge wanted Weinstein locked up. The reason? The judge asked jurors to keep deliberating before reaching a verdict (seriously, that’s the reason).
As you may have heard, Weinstein was found guilty on only two counts: the third-degree rape of Jessica Mann and first-degree criminal sexual assault of Miriam “Mimi” Haleyi. On Friday, jurors were hung on the most serious charges and asked Judge James Burke to clarify jury instructions. The judge, obviously preferring a unanimous verdict one way or another, asked jurors to keep deliberating. Jurors went home and came back to court on Monday, where they revealed the result of further deliberations: guilty on two counts not guilty on three others.
According to Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt, jurors eventually acquitting Weinstein on the most serious charges–and finding him not guilty on more counts than they convicted him on–is a sign that the judge wanted Weinstein locked up. In summary, per Wyatt: the Weinstein result is not surprising; there was never a chance Weinstein could get a fair trial; even the judge wanted him locked up; all Americans should be haunted by what is happening to rich and famous men; #MeToo only cares about white women; #MeToo doesn’t “tarnish the names of those oppressors that raped slaves” 400-plus years ago.
This is not shocking because these jurors were not sequestered, which gave them access to media coverage and the sentiments of public opinion. There’s no way you would have anyone believe that Mr. Weinstein was going to receive a fair and impartial trial. Also, this judge showed that he wanted a conviction by sending the jurors back to deliberate, after the were hung on many of the counts. Here’s the question that should haunt all Americans especially wealthy and famous men…Where do we go in this country to find fairness and impartiality in the judicial system; and where do we go in this country to find Due Process? Lastly, if the #metoo movement isn’t just about Becky [White women], I would challenge #metoo and ask them to go back 400+ years and tarnish the names of those oppressors that raped slaves. This is a very sad day in the American Judicial System.
Cosby and Wyatt have long said that the former was not given a fair trial because the judge in that case allowed testimony from other accusers that was not relevant. Cosby was convicted in April 2018 of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand.
Cosby’s first sexual assault trial ended in mistrial because of a hung jury. The second trial began in March 29, 2018 and ended just about one month later. He has been in prison in since Sept. 2019, when he was sentenced to 3 to 10 years behind bars.
“On this date, one of our Great American Treasures [Bill Cosby]…was finally awarded the opportunity to file his appeal with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. This filing is an important step in ensuring that Mr. Cosby receives a hearing from a fair and impartial court. The Constitution guarantees that right to Mr. Cosby—and to all Americans—and he looks forward to securing justice in the court of appeal,” he said.
Cosby’s team made similar complaints of unfairness before then, too.
In Dec. 2018, the defense said five prior “bad act witnesses” should not have been allowed to testify. The defense said that their claims were “too remote in time and too dissimilar to the Constand allegations” to be included. The attorneys also alleged that, according to a prospective juror, “juror 11” made up their mind about Cosby’s guilt before the trial.
Cosby’s wife Camille Cosby also filed a complaint against Judge Steven O’Neill that the prosecution called a “desperate, 11th-hour” attempt to delay sentencing. Cosby filed the complaint with Pennsylvania’s Judicial Conduct Board regarding Judge O’Neill‘s alleged bias.
In a statement, Cosby claimed O’Neill would “compound his unethical behavior” by sentencing her husband.
“My husband was improperly prosecuted in a trial presided over by an unethical judge who seeks to compound his unethical behavior by sentencing Bill Cosby, now 81 years old and unsighted, for a charge that the former DA and the judge’s rival, Mr. Castor, determined was unwarranted and would never be prosecuted,” she said.
Bill Cosby lost his appeal in Dec. 2019.
Weinstein’s team has signaled that a similar process might play out in the aftermath of New York conviction. The judge and the defendant had a confrontation on day 1 of the trial, and there’s no doubt that the defense will file an appeal. There’s a second criminal case awaiting Weinstein in California, however.
[Image via Montgomery County Correctional Facility/Getty Images]
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