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Tallahassee attorney, residents react to release of Bill Cosby

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 11:08 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - For most people, Wednesday’s news of Bill Cosby’s release came as a complete shock, with some not even knowing it was a possibility.

But, because of a due process violation, he is now a free man.

”You have a situation where you’ve taken a person, forced them to give up their fifth amendment right, and now you’re using that against them,” explained Joe Bodiford, a Tallahassee criminal defense attorney. “And the courts said that’s just an absolutely prohibited, fundamentally constitutional unfair thing to do.”

Despite the fact that, years ago, Cosby was guaranteed he wouldn’t be criminally prosecuted, some feel that justice still hasn’t been served.

“The fact that he full basically exposed himself and what he had done and he described everything he had done in the past and that’s just really difficult to hear, that someone like that is going to be out on the streets again,” Tallahassee resident Isabelle Santana said.

Others note that the law has to be upheld.

“The justice system has to abide by the laws that are put forward for them to follow,” said Lauren Han, another Tallahassee resident. “As sad as it is for him to have been convicted and now released, I think that it’s, unfortunately, fair.”

Bodiford says the conditions of this specific case are so rare and severe, it calls for a similar remedy.

“This one is, like they said, it is extremely rare because here we are, two trials and a civil lawsuit with a multi-million dollar payout then, if the constitutional violation is that severe, then the remedy has to be that severe,” he explained.

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court wants to make a statement for the rights of all citizens.

”And the court finally used the term ‘Unconstitutional bait and switch,’ which I think is them saying, at the end of the day, the constitutional rights of the citizens of this country are paramount to anything else,” Bodiford explained.

People who spoke with WCTV say they hope this doesn’t discourage other victims from speaking up against their abusers, but entices them to speak up even more.

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