Will Baltimore Cops Get a Fair Trial? Not if Marilyn Mosby Can Help It

5.14.14- Marylin Mosby, candidate for Baltimore City States Attorney who is running against Gregg Bernstein. Portraits outside of the Baltimore City Circuit Courthouse. (The Daily Record/Adam Bednar)

The second policeman charged in the death of Freddie Gray is currently having his day in court.  Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr is in court, defending himself for  second-degree depraved-heart murder.  His trial is under a delay because Mosby wants Officer William G. Porter to testify against Goodman.  However, Porter’s trial was a mistrial and he will have to face a jury again.  Anything he says could be self incrimination, which the constitution cannot be forced.

Judge Barry G. Williams of the Baltimore City Circuit Court made what is considered a questionable call.  He has ruled that Porter can testify and his testimony can’t be used against him in his trial.  The problem is any new information that comes out of his testimony would give investigators a way to dig up new evidence in order to use against him.  That places a delay on Goodson’s case until appeals and details can be worked out.

But should there even be trials for the six officers?  Even if you believe the answer is yes, there are some serious questions about prosecutor Mosby’s ethics in the investigation and the charging of the officers.  Mosby allegedly withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense teams and vital information to the coroner that did Grey’s autopsy.

According to a filing by defense attorneys, Mosby met with Carol Allan in a private meeting days before the autopsy results were made public.  Mosby did not report this to the defense and leads one to wonder if she didn’t convince Allan to rule the death a homicide.  The meeting could have been harmless, but if that was the case, why was it not included in the discovery of the case?  Had this been the only information withheld from the defense, it would not be so quite damning.

Moreover, she withheld information from the coroner:

It seems that among the numerous criminal pursuits of Freddie Gray, he was a con man, who operated a cash for crash scheme.  In this type of scam, people intentionally hurt themselves in order to collect insurance settlements.  Why is this important?  Two reasons.  First, it would explain why Gray was banging himself in the back of the police van and secondly, the coroner would have paid closer attention to see if all of Gray’s injuries were current or whether he was injured before and made it worse on the day of his arrest.

The police who were investigating Freddie Gray’s cash for crash schemes were ordered to stand down from their investigation by Mosby’s office so as to not “not to do the defense attorneys’ jobs for them.”  Another tidbit withheld by Mosby’s office was that Gray once hurt himself while in the Baltimore jail so severely, he required medical attention.  Had the coroner known about Gray’s previous history, she may have come to a different conclusion.  Had she known that Gray had a history of hurting himself badly, she may not have concluded his death was a homicide.

There’s more.  Prosecutors allegedly withheld statements from witnesses who said that Grey had been banging against the inside of the van and rocking it on the day of his arrest.  It has also been asserted that prosecutors received evidence that Freddie Grey tried to hurt himself during previous arrests.  Both of these items were withheld from defense attorneys, raising questions about the ethics of Mosby.  Hiding exculpatory evidence is grounds for disbarment.

This would not be the first time that Mosby attempted to paint the officers as murderers using questionable tactics.  At the time she announced the charges, Mosby declared that the arrest was invalid because the knife Gray had on him was legal in Maryland. That much was true, but the knife was illegal in Baltimore.  Defense attorneys insist that Mosby was informed of the fact prior to her announcement, which would seem to explain why she specifically said Maryland and not just legal.

She also acted as if Freddie Gray was an innocent picked on by police.  The truth is Gray had been arrested 18 times, mostly for drugs.  He had a long history of running from the police in an attempt to ditch drugs he had on him.  Anytime, you run when you see a policeman, you are automatically suspect.


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