The Juice is loose and now Cos is free. It's Jello Pudding Pops for everyone tonight!
Here is the problem for the rest of the criminal defense bar and criminal defendants: Lawmakers react to these types of cases- the .001% reversals on appeals in notorious cases or when a judge has the temerity to exercise her discretion and not sentence someone to a maximum sentence. That is why we have minimum mandatories.
A judge sets a reasonable bond on a DUI manslaughter case? The Florida Legislature sets a minimum bond requirement. Ditto for DUI and DUI manslaughter sentences.
A person gets convicted of second degree murder under the old Florida Guidelines and gets 17 years (the GLs were 17-22- remember when?) and soon there is no difference between first and second degree murder- life with no parole.
Dr King said the moral arc of the universe bends towards justice.
The arc of the justice system bends towards the maximum and away from fairness.
Guidelines exceed the statutory maximum? Guidelines control.
When was the last time a politician successfully ran on a platform of lowering prison sentences? Other than what POTUS45 did with the First Step Act, there has been no meaningful criminal justice reform that LOWERED penalties and guidelines for the last 100 years. And the First Step act affected how prison sentences are served, not the outrageous drug and fraud -loss guidelines.
While 99% of criminal defendants (other than those who hire Mr. Markus and his firm) lose their appeal, its the outlier like the Cosby case that gets the media attention. There will be cries for vengeance and outrage over how a "guilty man" won an appeal and cannot be re-tried, with no discussion that he was tricked into confessing by one prosecutor who gave him immunity, and a subsequent prosecutor who did not honor that deal- which was the basis for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision in the Cosby case.
Talking heads are already on Fox and MSNBC calling for a revamping of the appellate process to prevent guilty defendants from being freed by an appellate court. There will be laws proposed guaranteeing every criminal defendant the right to appeal, but requiring that their appeals be denied- sort of like North Korea or how the 11th Circuit approaches the fourth amendment.
Mark our words- this is a dark day for criminal defense. No good will come from the Cos's victory. It will be cited ad nauseam as proof that there are two systems of justice- one for wealthy people and one for everyone else. Appeals are about to become even harder for the rest of us mere mortals to win (you know who excepted). Scant attention will be paid to the reason Cosby won his appeal - an important ruling on immunity and prosecutors promises. And all of the discussion will be on the women he raped and how bad they feel and how rich people can buy justice.
This is a dark day for criminal justice- but not for the reasons being discussed on TV.