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Falen Cox
Attorney Falen O. Cox is a Founding Partner of Cox, Rodman, & Middleton, LLC

Attorneys Prepare Uphill Battle to Win Freedom for Bill Cosby


Cosby, 81, was convicted in April 2018 of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. (File Photo)

Bill Cosby’s lawyers have a date with the Pennsylvania Superior Court on Friday, Jan. 18.

While nothing earth-shattering is expected, the briefing counts among the initial steps that the attorneys must take if the imprisoned entertainer is to win his appeal. However, getting a criminal conviction overturned in the United States is one of the most daunting challenges in the American Justice System.

Cosby, 81, was convicted in April 2018 of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

In September, he was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison which led many defense attorneys and others to blast both the conviction – which contained no physical and very little circumstantial evidence – and the sentence – at 81, Cosby had previously never run afoul of the law and he’s blind – as unjust.

Still, Cosby faces an uphill battle in his bid for freedom, according to several experts who told NNPA Newswire this week that as many as 90 percent of the myriad of appeals heard are normally rejected.

In filing their appeal last month, Cosby’s attorneys cited more than 10 trial errors by Montgomery County, Pa., Judge Steven T. O’Neill.

And, if O’Neill did indeed err, the lawyers had better cite something that could be deemed so egregious that it moves the appellate court toward reversal.

To win a direct appeal after a criminal conviction, lawyers must prove that without the error by the trial judge, the case would have resulted in an acquittal, Schwartz said.

Falen O. Cox, a partner of the Georgia-based firm Cox, Rodman & Middleton, LLC, has practiced appeals before the Georgia Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Georgia for more than eight years.

Cox, an African American female attorney, said more than 90 percent of criminal convictions in the Peach State are affirmed.

“The culprit is the principal/theory of ‘harmless error,’” Cox said.

“Generally an appeal focuses on mistakes that were made by the prosecutor, the judge, defense attorney and the jury.

“For example, perhaps the prosecutor said something in a closing argument that the rules do not allow – a mistake, the defense attorney does not object – also a mistake, defense counsel does, however, object when the prosecution calls a witness who testifies about something that another witness already testified about, the judge overrules that objection but it should have been sustained because the testimony was cumulative and bolstering because hearing a co-sign makes the jury more likely to believe what the first witness said, which is also mistake,” Cox said.

When the appellate lawyers reviews the file, he or she raises all of those mistakes as error on appeal and includes it in the brief – things that happened that should not have happened – mistakes other people made during the course of defendant’s trial.

SOURCE: https://lasentinel.net/attorneys-prepare-uphill-battle-to-win-freedom-for-bill-cosby-next-step-in-appeals-begins-jan-18.html