Bill Cosby has officially been released from jail as the result of a recent court ruling. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered Cosby's release on Wednesday, following the discovery of evidence that suggests his sentence be overturned on the basis of legal complications.
Cosby's prior agreement causes court to overturn charges
Cosby was convicted back in 2018 as the result of a 2004 sexual assault charge made against him by Andrea Constand. While he had been serving time in prison, newly obtained court documents suggest that there is a legal reason why Cosby should not have been able to be charged.
As Entertainment Tonight shares, these documents explain that Cosby had struck an agreement with a prosecutor beforehand that would prohibit him from being charged. They go on to explain that the agreement "hindered Cosby's ability to defend against the civil action," leaving "no doubt" that he had relied upon the "unconditional promise of non-prosecution."
Cosby released on "procedural issue," says district attorney
Cosby being released from prison on Wednesday will also prohibit the same charges from being levelled against him in the future. "He must be discharged, and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred," the Pennsylvania Supreme Court wrote, calling the circumstances "severe and rare."
But while Cosby's prison sentence was overturned, the judges' verdict during the case remains the same. "He was found guilty by a jury and now goes free on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime," District Attorney Kevin R. Steele told Entertainment Tonight. Steele also expressed his hope "that this decision will not dampen the reporting of sexual assaults by victims."
Cosby has now returned to his home in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania following the court's ruling. He was seen with his team of lawyers as he was welcomed back by family and those who have supported him. At this time, he has not spoken out about his release.