Marilyn Mosby is the Baltimore City state’s attorney who is handling the Freddie Gray cop prosecution in Baltimore. She’s 34, she’s politically connected (her husband is a City Councilman), this is her first big job as a lawyer, and it’s her first prosecution.
And yes, it appears that she’s in waaaaaaaaaay over her head.
There was a lot of discussion about the speed that she charged the cops who were involved in Gray’s death. The police hadn’t even completed their initial investigation when charges were filed and many criminal attorneys think she’s going to have a really hard time proving the charges.
In fairness, after the fact, she was able to get the Baltimore grand jury to indict the cop ham sandwich buffet that she handed over to them.
There are two interesting twists in the case. The first is that the attorneys for the defense have asked for a change of venue. They don’t think the cops can get a fair trial in Baltimore, we certainly agree with that assumption. We have no idea what the court will say, but we do think keeping the case in Baltimore is very prejudicial to the defendants.
The second twist came today. Mosby wants the autopsy results sealed. Only her office and the defense would have access and they would not be able to talk about it.
The Baltimore police department was conducting an investigation into the incident, and they haven’t seen the autopsy results. If Mosby gets her protective order, they won’t see them.
When the arrests were announced, Mosby went on national television and talked about the evidence she said she had. One major piece of evidence has already been discredited. Mosby said the knife that Gray was carrying that was deemed by police to be illegal was, in fact legal and that made his arrest illegal. It turns out that because the law in Baltimore with reference to knives is so fuzzy, the police had a legal right to take Gray into custody.
We are with Ivan Bates, the attorney for one of the officers who noted:
[Bates] told the [Baltimore] Sun that Mosby’s motion indicates “there is something in that autopsy report that they are trying to hide.”
“Mrs. Mosby is the one who did an announcement discussing what she said the evidence was in a nationally televised speech, and now that it is time to turn over the evidence, to ask for a protective order is beyond disingenuous,” Bates told the Sun. “It’s as if she wants to do everything to make sure our clients do not get a fair trial.”
Gee, ya think?
Just for sake of clarity, we have no idea if the cops were negligent in Gray’s death, if they broke the law, or if they’re just innocent bystanders. If they broke the law, we’re perfectly happy with them going to prison on appropriate charges.
On the other hand, we have a suspicion that Mosby may have gotten carried away with her position and jumped the shark on charging the cops. Second-degree murder has some very specific statutory requirements and we’re hard pressed to understand how she’s going to meet the burden of proof.
If she over-charged, the cops may well be guilty of a lesser charge but can’t be convicted because of prosecutorial incompetence.
We’re feeling this may be a real clown car as it goes to court. Think about the utter incompetence shown in the George Zimmerman prosecution and his not guilty verdict. It was the right verdict, but whole process to get him into court was a travesty.
The difference between Zimmerman’s acquittal and an acquittal for the Baltimore cops is that the usual suspects in Baltimore will likely try to burn the city down if the cops walk.