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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: July 1, 2021 01:34 PM
From: Senator Lisa Baker and Sen. Steven J. Santarsiero
To: All Senate members
Subject: Written Non-Prosecution Agreements
In the recently decided case of Commonwealth v. Cosby, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated criminal convictions of Cosby for aggravated indecent assault.  The Court’s decision was based upon the fact that certain inculpatory testimony, which had been given in depositions at an earlier civil trial, was admitted at Cosby’s subsequent criminal trial.  Overturning the trial court’s determination to the contrary, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court concluded that the testimony of Cosby at the earlier civil trial was provided only after an enforceable oral non-prosecution agreement was entered into with Cosby, and that Cosby relied on that agreement in providing his testimony at the civil trial.   Allowing the admission of the inculpatory testimony, according to the Court, violated Cosby’s due process rights.
We intend to introduce legislation that will require all future non-prosecution agreements to be in writing to be enforceable.
Please join us in sponsoring this important legislation.