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Legal analyst on Cosby decision: Dark day in history of American law

<i>Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images</i><br/>Bill Cosby will be released after the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania vacated his conviction and judgment of sentence
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Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images
Bill Cosby will be released after the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania vacated his conviction and judgment of sentence

By Kristina Sgueglia, CNN

Bill Cosby is to be released from prison after Pennsylvania’s highest court vacated his conviction and judgment of sentence, a spokesperson for Pennsylvania Supreme Court, said Wednesday.

The majority opinion stated that “Cosby’s convictions and judgment of sentence are vacated and he is discharged,” Stacey Witalec told CNN, reading from the opinion.

Cosby was sentenced in 2018 to 3 to 10 years in a state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

Cosby’s lawyer told CNN, “We believe that he will be released from prison this afternoon.”

Attorney Brian Perry said that he was on his way to the prison.

Maria Bivens, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections in a statement to CNN said, “The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is in receipt of today’s court decision. Work is underway to complete the necessary paperwork, and Mr. Cosby will be released as soon as practical.”

Cosby denied parole in May by the Pennsylvania Parole Board, which cited a number of reasons for its decision, according to a letter from the board obtained by CNN.

The letter said Cosby had to “participate in and complete additional institutional programs.” The board cited Cosby’s “failure to develop a parole release plan” and a “negative recommendation by the Department of Corrections” as factors that contributed to the decision.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last December heard arguments regarding an appeal filed by Cosby’s legal team to overturn the conviction.

Cosby, once known as “America’s Dad,” was convicted and sentenced three years ago in the first high-profile celebrity criminal trial of the #MeToo era, following a 2017 mistrial.

This story is breaking and being updated.

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