Friday, June 30, 2017


“The principle that there is a presumption of innocence in favor of the accused is the undoubted law, axiomatic and elementary, and its enforcement lies at the foundation of the administration of our criminal law. … ”Coffin v. U.S. 156 U.S. 432

From the outset, I do not want anyone to neither claim that these comments are about favoring or supporting a rape culture nor that encouraging any form of sexual assault. These are serious crimes that need to be addressed in our society. However, I find lying about rape or sexual assault to be just as evil as the crime of rape itself. In light of the controversy over the allegations of sexual assault against Bill Cosby, I find it very interesting that everything in the national media about Mr. Cosby has been trial, conviction, and sentencing without due process.

You see as terrible as the accusations that Cosby has been accused of, under the 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments, all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty. In the Supreme Court case that I quoted above in this article, it established the presumption of innocence in our judicial system, as well as the definition of reasonable doubt. The U.S. Supreme Court further held that:

It is, of necessity, the condition of mind produced by the proof resulting from the evidence in the cause. It is the result of the proof, not the proof itself, whereas the presumption of innocence is one of the instruments of proof, going to bring about the proof from which reasonable doubt arises; thus, one is a cause, the other an effect. “

The jurors deliberated for over fifty-two hours according to various news reports. According to the AP, there were several votes, including a vote for an acquittal all counts They looked at the evidence and judging by comments made by one of the jurors, they did not find enough evidence to convict Cosby. That’s what the jury is supposed to do based on the evidence or lack of evidence in this matter when they are inside the deliberation room.

Yet, media outlets such as The Root, CNN, VICE, Yahoo News, AOL NEWS, BET, and others continue to ignore this part, and focus on a 10-2 verdict for guilty. It also been said that there were also evenly split verdicts to acquit around 7-5, unanimous verdicts to acquit, but we fail to hear these arguments. The media also ignored that the accuser, Ms. Andre Constand, admitted to meeting with Bill Cosby on several occasions before and after this alleged incident occurred, including one incident of which she gave Cosby gifts after this alleged assault occurred. She testified to this on the witness stand. This part is not touched on by mainstream media.

In an article posted on The Huffington Post, written by Alanna Vaginos, the title states “Cosby Juror Believes Constand’s ‘Bare Midriff’ Meant She Was Asking For It.” In looking at the article, the juror never mentioned that Constand was “asking for it.” What it appears is that the Huffington Post is trying to take part of what the juror said and make it sound like he’s victim blaming.

The media in our world today does not deal with the truth. As a system, it is more satisfied in dealing with sensationalism because people are not interested in the truth as they are more fixated on the lie. Never mind what the truth is, the lie is where the story is. Controversy draws attention.

In closing, we must decide whether we want to truly be a nation that lives up to its creed and principles that we have set in writing. We have given the government powers under laws like the Patriot Act that intrude on our 4th Amendment rights. Do we truly want our judicial system guided speculation, gossip and heresay because it makes for a good story in the New York Times or should it be guided by facts and evidence that points us to the truth? You be the judge.

1 comment:

  1. It seemed to me, from the moment that hearsay evidence was allowed at the pretrial hearing, I believe for the first time in Pennsylvania history in a case like this, the judge made every decision with the assumption that the defendant was guilty. Bringing in a woman and her mother to make a similar unsubstantiated charge that he did a similar thing to her 20 years ago, also disgraced the legal system. Not allowing a defense witness who was told by accuser that she was planning on becoming rich from a false drug and sexual assault accusation was another incredible decision that could only have been made with the presumption of guilt in the judge's mind. This was perhaps the most shameful trial since Dred Scott in 1857. There was no physical evidence of drugging or assault, and the numerous lies of the defendant and her actions and the actions of her mother made it clear that this was far more likely a case of extortion than a case of a man giving a woman some mystery drug that paralyzed her for 15 minutes while he touched her vagina. We can never be sure of what happened between the two, that evening 13 1/2 years ago, but based on the evidence I would guess the odds of the first being true at ten billion to one and the odds of the second being true at one in ten billion.