Friday, August 7, 2015

Baltimore Cop Prosecution Takes Major Hit

Hat tip Squid and The Blaze

Image result for marilyn mosby
Marilyn Mosby-Troubles mount

This could be a huge blow to the prosecution of six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray. Defense attorneys allege prosecutors hid evidence regarding Freddie Gray's history of faking injuries at the hands of the police.

What I read out of this report is that the defense attorneys have somebody within the police that will personally testify they were told by prosecutors not to include certain information about Gray in their reports. If true, this is a serious case of prosecutorial misconduct. The law states that the defense is entitled to any exculpatory information that would benefit their client. In federal law, this is contained in the Brady Rule. It is part of discovery. Under discovery, the defense is entitled to know all of the government's case against their client(s) and any exculpatory information. If there is evidence of Gray having a history of injuring himself while in police custody, that could devastate the prosecution's case. If there is someone within the police who will testify to being told by a prosecutor not "to do the defense's work for them", that pretty much ends the case. If true, it would also result in prosecution against whomever was involved.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

I bet that's the first time a DEA agent expressed such solicitous concern for the rights of criminal defendants...

I suppose a long history of faking injuries, known personally to the arresting officers, would offer some explanation of why they ignored Grey's complaints of injury...

But I have yet to hear of a con artist so anxious to prove fake injuries that he threw himself wildly around a van to produce fatal injuries. Con artists want to live to have the last laugh.

That is why there are standard procedures. If he were properly restrained in the van, then he would have only fake injuries to complain of.

Gary Fouse said...

If this was part of Gray's past that is exculpatory evidence which would be greatly beneficial to the defense. Irregardless of the guilt or innocence of these cops, if these allegations are true that is prosecutorial malfeasance on a grand scale.

Squid said...

@ Sairlys

It is the Brady rule that is the important part of the post. Mosby, in her zeal to over-prosecute, to suit her black activist proclivity, has potentially damage her case against the six officers. Frankly speaking, there is a strong probability that the court will find her participating in "malfeasance. The court should through the case out, but most likely not, do to the high profile of this case.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

I'm familiar with the Brady rule, Squid. You keep assuming that you are the only person in the world who knows any science, history, law, or literature. Are you a sollipsist?

There MAY be a Brady violation here, but unless someone asked "Shall we send this document over" and someone said "No, they might make something of that," unless someone redacted a page from a file before sending it, there MAY not be. The mere fact that Grey had a record of faking injury does not constitute a Brady violation if nobody thought to mention it, or to find a file that wasn't under consideration. There has to be an overt decision to DENY something the prosecution knows it has, like a deposition in which someone says "That guy didn't rob the bank, this other guy did."

Like I said, it wouldn't be of much use to the defense if they blatantly violated procedures for restraining persons in custody in a van. This isn't a case of a man sitting in the back of a squad car screaming "I have a terrible pain in my stomach" while the cops say "Yeah, yeah, you pulled that one on us just last week." This is a case of a man who was half conscious at best being flung all over the back of the van because he wasn't strapped in per protocol. Or at least, that is the substance of the indictment as it has been reported to date.

Gary Fouse said...

"If the prosecution does not disclose material exculpatory evidence under this rule, and prejudice has ensued, the evidence will be suppressed. The evidence will be suppressed regardless of whether the prosecutor knew the evidence was in his or her possession, or whether or not the prosecutor intentionally or inadvertently withheld the evidence from the defense."

That quote is from my link on Brady.

If the state knew that Gray had a history of faking injuries in police custody and withheld that from the defense, that's about as much a Brady violation that I can imagine. (Again, I am not an attorney, but as a DEA agent, I had to have a working knowledge of Brady and other laws.)

Siarlys Jenkins said...

So what is the evidence to be suppressed? The fact that he suffered severe injury? Brady violations, as you note here for the first time, are not criminal suppressions, but affect admissible evidence. So, e.g., if you have a witness who says "I heard Joe confess to the crime," but you withhold the fact that the witness owes Joe $10,000 and has repeatedly refused to pay him, then you can't put that witness on the stand. What evidence is to be suppressed?

It still sounds like the defense is grasping for straws here.