Will an Immunity Agreement Derail Prosecution of Bill Cosby?
If I was Cosby’s attorney, I would fight hard to enforce the immunity agreement, which could lead to the charges being dismissed. I’m astounded that Cosby’s lawyers never got the deal in writing, and getting the court to force the current prosecutor to honor the prior agreement is not a done deal.
Even if Cosby’s team is successful, an immunity deal is far from ironclad. While the agreement would bar prosecutors from using the precise statement against Cosby in their case-in-chief, the statements could be used as impeachment evidence should the defense make claims that are directly to the contrary.
Moreover, an immunity agreement doesn’t prohibit prosecution; it excludes his statement alone. If other evidence comes to light, it can trigger a renewed prosecution effort. To date, an enormous amount of new evidence has been revealed. We call it “similar fact evidence” which is evidence of similar acts which can be considered by a jury weighing Cosby’s guilt. The other women who told similar stories can be very compelling in the prosecutor’s case.
Many defendants have been convicted with relatively light evidence because of the admission of such similar fact evidence.