Lawyer Leads Online Petition to Overturn Cosby Verdicts

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Bill Cosby isn’t giving up his fight to clear his name and, while the comedian awaits his September 24 sentencing on aggravated indecent assault charges, supporters have launched an online petition seeking 1,000 signatures to help spur an investigation into Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele and Judge Steven O’Neill.

The petitioners cite the sixth amendment which states, in part, that an individuals has a right to be confronted with the witnesses against him and to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

“We wanted to organize and galvanize people because many of us who followed the trial or actually attended the trial, like I did, were very troubled with how everything went down,” said Nicole Lawrence, who started the petition.

Lawrence seeks 1,000 signatures and, to date, she’s already gathered more than one-third of that total.

“It seemed as though Mr. Cosby didn’t have a chance in hell with this prosecution and judge along with mainstream media who purposely did not check the backgrounds of [Cosby’s accusers],” Lawrence said, echoing the sentiment previously expressed by Cosby’s wife, Camille, who in 2015 cautioned the media to do just that.

Lawrence has taken up the call and she’s started a group called “The Bill Cosby is Innocent” campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in an effort she hopes will expose what really happened at trial.

In April, a jury found Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for a 2004 or 2003 incident between he and former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.

On the witness stand and in police statements, Constand flip-flopped repeatedly as to the type of relationship she had with the now 81-year-old comedian, who faces 10 years in prison for each of the three counts.

At one point, Constand told an investigator that she had never been alone with Cosby at his home except for that faithful night in which no one seems to remember exactly when it occurred.

During other testimony, she said she had been alone several times. While at first denying whether there had been any intimate contact, like kissing, Constand later admitted that there was.

Cosby’s team contends that if the star was going to drug her as had been charged, then why is it that he never attempted to have sexual intercourse.

“He’s going to jail because she put her hands on his penis and he put his hands in her pants,” said Alice Durkin, a courtroom observer. “He’s going to jail for foreplay. This is unreal and yet America has turned their backs on this man who had consensual foreplay and is going to prison because the prosecutor and the judge are caught up in this #MeToo stuff and, I believe, because Andrea Constand is white,” Durkin said.

Louisiana attorney Gavin Richard of the Law Office of Gavin M. Richard, LLC, which had no role in the case, has sent a letter to the state disciplinary board to protest Cosby’s verdicts and what he believes is misconduct on the part of both Steele and O’Neill.

He also lashed out at mainstream media.

“I was greatly disturbed by the coverage by mainstream media which clearly pushed for a guilty verdict,” Richard said.

“Media should be impartial, as should our judicial proceedings. I felt that the media had a prejudicial effect on the trial. The judge allowed several witnesses to testify whose accusations were beyond 30 years,” he said of O’Neill’s decision to allow five other women to testify against Cosby.

Those women, whose stories had long been either discredited or had never been alleged before law enforcement or a courtroom, testified about incidents they claimed occurred as far back as 1981.

During Cosby’s first trial, which ended in a mistrial, O’Neill only allowed one other accuser to testify. Inexplicably, he reversed himself for the second trial which resulted in guilty verdicts.

“Mr. Cosby was neither charged nor convicted in regards to those [other women claims],” Richard said.

The attorney also found problems with Steele’s campaign for district attorney in which he vowed to get Cosby if elected.

Richard also said O’Neill permitted outbursts that tainted the jury.

“The judge allowed outbursts on the witness stand in front of the jury that was prejudicial, and on top of that, it’s my understanding that there were special interrogatories that were to be given during deliberations that the judge did not give,” Richard said.

O’Neill also allowed a juror to remain in the box after he was overheard saying, “We can all go home, Cosby’s guilty,” even before the trial began.

The judge also failed to sanction two assistant district attorneys who publicly made racial remarks toward Cosby and his team.

“So, it was highly-prejudicial and our legal system, which says innocent until proven guilty, seems to be in jeopardy,” Richard said. “Cosby was guilty until proven guilty. There were too many sixth amendment violations.”

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About Stacy M. Brown 280 Articles
A Little About Me: I'm the co-author of Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway and her son, Stevie Wonder (Simon & Schuster) and Michael Jackson: The Man Behind The Mask, An Insider's Account of the King of Pop (Select Books Publishing, Inc.) My work can often be found in the Washington Informer, Baltimore Times, Philadelphia Tribune, Pocono Record, the New York Post, and Black Press USA.

4 Comments

  1. Great article, Stacy,
    Here is the petition that the article refers to. I hope people will read it and sign it. https://www.thepetitionsite.com/320/583/244/investigate-montgomery-county-da-kevin-steel-amp-judge-steven-o%E2%80%99neil/
    D.A. Steele and Judge O’Neill didn’t act like fair and reasonable public servants, they acted like slavecatchers hunting down a fugitive slave in free territory in 1852. It is a shame that they are allowed to act this way in 2018. The super-transracist and sexist mass media cheered them on through every step of their lynching of an innocent 80 year old blind black man whose only crime was making the world laugh and bringing peace on Earth for 50 years.

  2. I signed the Petition and you should too. These hags are just out for dollars. What they are claiming doesn’t make sense. Would you take an unknown pill and wash it down with wine? Their stories are coached and if you pay attention, you see a STORY LINE. Life doesn’t play like a story line. You can see the coached emotion. As a former law enforcement officer, I think their stories are a load of crap and I ain’t buying it.

  3. If those of you out there protesting Cosby’s conviction support #MeToo, then you in effect convicted Cosby. The ‘believe women’ narrative means you ignore evidence in favor of the accused and lionize women’s feelings over facts.

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