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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

All Charges in Freddie Gray Cases Dropped

In Baltimore today, the state dropped all remaining charges filed in connection with the death of Freddie Gray.  Gray died after being injured in the back of a police van.  It seems like Gray hit his back against the hard side of the van when the vehicle hit a pothole or a bump, but we will never know for certain what happened.  After the death and after a few days of rioting in the black community, the State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, brought charges against six officers.  Three of the officers have already been found not-guilty and a fourth was awaiting retrial after an earlier mistrial.  Given the dismal record of her office in this matter, Mosby announced that all charges would be dropped against all three remaining defendants.

It's clearly the correct decision, although it seems to have come very late.  The cases presented against the three officers acquitted were the stronger ones for conviction, and yet they were dismissed for lack of evidence.  There is no way that the state was going to get a conviction of any of the remaining defendants.

The most interesting thing in today's announcement, however, was that Mosby was clearly angry at the police for not finding more evidence to use against other police in court.  Mosby could not blame the judge for racism; he is black.  She couldn't blame the mayor for not supporting the cases; the mayor too is black.  Mosby had only the police who she could use as a scapegoat for the failure or her office to get any convictions. 

The reality is that the States Attorney in Maryland, like all prosecutors, is supposed to weigh the evidence before proceeding with a case.  Mosby admitted this morning that there was not enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  Without such evidence, the cases should not have been brought.  But Mosby also said that there was enough evidence to bring charges.  She can't have it both ways.  If as prosecutor she knows there isn't evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, then she is just using the power of the state to harass the defendants.  It's unethical for her as a lawyer to do this.  It also opens the City of Baltimore and Mosby herself to being sued for wrongful prosecution.

The truth is that the time has come for Mosby to resign.  She has disgraced herself and her office.

1 comment:

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