Nine inmates were released from SCI Phoenix Thursday evening and officials tell Your Content that Bill Cosby won’t get the luck his family and supporters are hoping for, noting the comedian is not eligible for release under Governor Tom Wolf’s executive order.
“Based on the criteria exempting sex offenders and knowing his highly publicized case he would not qualify,” a Department of Corrections spokesperson told Your Content.
SCI Phoenix, which opened in 2018, has special isolation rooms in its infirmary to handle such cases. Officials previously told Your Content staff and inmates have been provided with appropriate personal protective equipment and are instructed to wear them on the impacted housing unit.
“Bill Cosby is no danger to society. The real rot comes of the schadenfreude of bitter harpies who’d rather see an old man die in prison than release him,” prominent Connecticut-based criminal defense attorney Norm Pattis told Your Content. “Shame on the Department of Corrections.”
According to the Pa. Department of Corrections, nine inmates from SCI Phoenix have been granted reprieve due to growing safety concerns surrounding COVID-19 to date.
Gov. Tom Wolf issued reprieves for Department of Corrections inmates who met criteria for the Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration, which the governor established through order on April 10.
“We truly feel that Mr. Cosby will be released and remanded to house arrest within the upcoming weeks. We are extremely thankful and grateful to Governor Wolf (PA), Pennsylvania State Legislators & Secretary of Prisons for Pennsylvania, John Wetzel. These individuals stood tall and strong —without letting Blue versus Red, Us versus Them, Public Opinion, Media Scrutiny and/or Personal Feelings get in the way of salvaging human lives within the confines of the Pennsylvania State Prison System.” Cosby’s spokesperson Andrew Wyatt said in a statement Thursday morning.
Wyatt said Cosby’s legal team did not initially intend on filing a petition in court seeking his release.
“As of today, our legal team will not be filing a petition, until we see how Governor Wolf’s executive order will be implemented as it relates to ALL non-violent elderly inmates with underlying health conditions,” said Wyatt.
“We truly believe that Mr. Cosby will be a direct beneficiary of Governor Wolf’s executive order to the Secretary of Prisons, John Wetzel. We have been informed that those inmates who are being selected will undergo an in-depth medical evaluation.”
Wyatt said the evaluation includes being tested for COVID-19 and the passing of a drug test.
“Once those tested come back negative, those approved inmates will be released and remanded to house arrest to serve out the remaining of their sentence. Based on the specific criteria that is listed within Gov. Wolf’s executive order, we strongly feel that Mr. Cosby will be released and remanded to house arrest in the upcoming weeks.”
According to Wyatt, the 82-year-old comic isn’t able to social distance due to his medical complications.
“Mr. Cosby is 82 years old; Mr. Cosby has an underlying medical condition— blindness; Mr. Cosby doesn’t have the luxury of practicing social distancing because he has to rely on the aid of others for almost everything, which places him a very dangerous predicament to contract COVID-19 from an Officer and/or Inmate; Mr. Cosby is not a menace to society; and Mr. Cosby has been a model citizen for 82 years of his life and has been a model citizen as an inmate at SCI- Phoenix for almost (1) year and (6) months,” Wyatt said.
Bill Cosby, 82, was sentenced to 3 to ten years imprisonment in September 2018.
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