After a tumultuous series of hearings, and a long deliberation period amongst the jurors, a mistrial was declared in Bill Cosby's sexual assault case on Saturday morning, throwing the nation's most high profile case into serious doubt. Setting up a trial for a public figure like Cosby is hard to begin with, and after a deadlocked jury held up the case, there's no telling when (or if) we'll ever get a verdict on his alleged sexual assault of Andrea Constand.
Cosby, who has been accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women in addition to Constand, has gone from beloved father figure to alleged rapist since accusations came to light in 2014. For many people—particularly women who have personally experienced sexual assault—seeing Cosby escape a guilty verdict, even temporarily, is a failure of the justice system.
After the mistrial was declared in the Cosby case, celebrities and everyday citizens alike spoke out about the perceived injustice, taking to Twitter to air their grievances about the decision. Lena Dunham in particular was outspoken about the result, unleashing a barrage of tweets expressing her disgust.
Bill Cosby's trial is about much more than Bill Cosby. When women see justice served, their own fear & trauma are eased. When they don't...— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) June 17, 2017
Survivors of sexual assault have to watch every day as the legal system calls them liars and denies their truth. It is an unimaginable grind— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) June 17, 2017
My heart is with every survivor reliving the erasure of their own experience today. I see you. I love you.— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) June 17, 2017
ps It's okay to check out of the news and honor yourself today. Do whatever you need to feel whole.— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) June 17, 2017
While Dunham was one of the more prominent voices to speak up, she was not alone in how she felt. Several people immediately tied Cosby's momentary victory to Donald Trump's, who won the 2016 election despite recordings that showed him glorifying sexual assault.
Bill Cosby admitted it. The president bragged about it. Yet here we are. This is why women hesitate to come forward about sexual assault.— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) June 17, 2017
Why is anyone surprised about Bill Cosby? If we elected a sexual predator president because he's a celebrity why would we send one to jail?— Michael Blackman (@MBlackman37) June 17, 2017
Bill Cosby trash— Donwill (@donwill) June 17, 2017
Police officers trash
Current administration trash.
fuck em all
But most of the backlash was focused on the presence of injustice.
60 women: Bill Cosby raped/sexually assaulted me.— Alexis Isabel (@lexi4prez) June 17, 2017
People: You're all liars.
Cosby: I did it
People: OK BUT I HAVE THIS THEORY THAT HE DIDNT-
Serious question: How will Cosby ever get an unbiased jury? Who doesn't know him or have some sort of association with him?— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) June 17, 2017
Yes. RT @HasherRoth: Y'all really wanted Bill Cosby's old ass in jail? The man is 80.— RIP Kendall Jayde (@Mr1738) June 17, 2017
Philando Castle verdict. Bill Cosby verdict. What happened to justice in America? We throw it out over last few years along with dignity?— Adam Best (@adamcbest) June 17, 2017
A mistrial for Cosby.— Women's March (@womensmarch) June 17, 2017
An injustice for all women.
To all the women who say Bill Cosby drugged, raped or assaulted you:— andy lassner (@andylassner) June 17, 2017
I BELIEVE YOU.
Bill Cosby admitted to drugging women he wanted to have sex with. HE ADMITTED THIS.— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) June 17, 2017
...and still, the jury was "hopelessly deadlocked." https://t.co/oSjZBmsMfx
Bill Cosby,— Jeeniya (@jeeniya90) June 17, 2017
Don't go home and gloat. You may be free for now but we all see you for what you are. You were NOT vindicated. It's not over.
Prosecutors have insisted they will continue to pursue sexual assault charges against Cosby, but even if they eventually convict him, Saturday's mistrial highlights the worst fears for a lot of victims of sexual assault. In the end, despite what seemed like strong evidence against Cosby, it will take at least a second trial for even one alleged victim of Cosby's to find justice.