A once loved and respected iconic United States of America comedian Bill Cosby has been freed from prison by the hand of the law. Mr. Cosby now has the liberty to see daylight after a ruling was made which overturns his sexual assault conviction, and he immediately bid farewell to his prison cell.
Popularly referred to by the name ‘America’s Dad, Cosby (83) is part of the African-American generation which opened US entertainment doors for the black people. He is regarded as one of the black comedy pioneers who inspired a lot of African-Americans to join the industry. During his rise, he became the leading iconic figure to establish a viable business in the entertainment industry and make it a huge incoming generating machine. All forms of comedy programs, from stand-ups to sitcoms, were done as hobbies by the performers, and the foundation of the stand-up comedy stems from ‘free mic’ sessions that were held mostly in bars. Hence the performers were just regular people entertaining the customers. Thus, they only got appreciation cents and tips from loyal fans. Bill Cosby, among other pioneers, was able to make a breakthrough in this sector and successfully made it a business that one could survive on, and due to this, he became a legendary figure in the US. The 80s TV Series ‘The Cosby Show’ became a trending show globally, and it is the most outstanding achievement in his comedy career.
Entertainment personnel is like celebrities who are always found in controversial situations, and for males, it is usually linked with women. Cosby is no exception as he was found wanting by the law for abusing women. The period of 2014-2015 saw a plethora of allegations against the comedian, and later on, the courts found him guilty of drugging and molesting an ex-basketball player Andrea Constand.
Miss Constand had launched her accusations against comedian Cosby earlier in 2005. Constand continued her pursuit for Cosby’s head, and she sued him for sexual battery and defamation. The matter was solved in 2016 after they agreed to a settlement with a confidentiality agreement. Still, the state prosecutor during that time, Bruce Castor, did not push the matter further into pressing any criminal charges. Hence all the details were thwarted from the public.
However, 2014-2015 opened a floodgate of allegations against America’s Dad by women claiming that they were drugged and assaulted by him. With a shower of accusations being propelled against one suspect, US lawmakers’ hands were tied by the statute of limitation, which allowed them to pursue only one case against Cosby. They decided to reopen Constand’s case and managed to get a conviction against Cosby before Constand’s allegations had expired since the 12-year limit was yet to be reached.
A glimpse of hope was seen during his first trial conducted in 2017 as the jury failed to reach a verdict, and the judge was forced to declare a mistrial. But the second trial was not merciful, and the numerous women who were accusing Cosby gave their testimonies in court, thus further crucifying Mr. Cosby. He was finally convicted in 2018 on three felony counts of assaulting and drugging Andrea Constand in 2004 and sentenced to a 3-to-10-year term in a Philadelphia prison [Source].
There was no way out of this second trial because various women were accusing Cosby, and the figure was believed to be around 60 accusers, and some of these incidents dated back to the 60s. It also included child sexual abuse, which involved girls aged 15. The crimes included rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, child sexual abuse, molestation, and sexual misconduct [Source]. He was now viewed as a ‘predator’ that feeds on vulnerable females, which sparked an outrage stance by females in the US. His conviction brought much joy to all the participants of the ‘#Me Too’ movement, which was started by a sexual harassment survivor and activist Tarana Burke on her Myspace page. This movement was a moral support-based system that encouraged all the victims of sexual harassment to speak up and report the perpetrators. This movement became a country-wide trending phenomenon that was joined by a lot of Americans. Various Hollywood stars and celebrities endorsed the movement as they pledge their support against women abusers and oppressors [Source]; hence the imprisonment of Bill Cosby was good news to them.
The law is fair and just in that it strives to do right by everyone, and this has been proven by the 2021 ruling, which has saved Mr. Cosby from 10-year hell. He had served more than two years of his sentence, which means he still had miles to go, but this was cut short after the courts overturned the conviction. Cosby’s saviors are the Pennsylvania Supreme Court judges who noted a “process violation” made by the prosecutors. According to the judges, Cosby’s lawyers had agreed with the previous state prosecutor Mr. Castor that Cosby would not be charged if he decided to testify in Constand’s civil lawsuit, and testimonies from all the accusers were not directly linked to the case he was on trial for so they distracted the proceedings. They were quick to declare that the only solution in this situation was to release the comedian from prison as soon as possible and barred any future prosecutions on this matter. While delivering this ruling, the judges admitted that it was rare, but it was the appropriate one [Source].
Bill Cosby’s legal team was very thankful to the courts, and his loyal fans were happy with the decisions. Since he sparked a lot of tension among American women, Cosby’s release has been received with mixed reactions, with some supporting it and others alluding to the continual fight against sexual harassment. The biggest challenge left is for comedian Bill Cosby to be integrated into society and restore his lost reputation and dignity while seeking acceptance as certain individuals loathed him.