Archive for August, 2016
Disbarment Possible Against Baltimore State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby.
George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf has filed a complaint, accusing Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby of filing charges only to prevent civil unrest. That is to say, Ms. Mosby is charged with allowing public opinion to rule her decision to prosecute in the Freddie Gray case.
Freddie Gray was arrested and died while in police custody. At the time, the young prosecutor c chanted Al Sharpton’s quote, “No Justice, No Peace,” before the press, adding “our time has come.” She charged six officers with career-ending offenses that appeared politically motivated to many. Recently Baltimore prosecutors failed for a fourth time to get a conviction when Lt. Brian Rice was found not guilty of all the charges.
Banzhaf holds that Mosby went forward without sufficient evidence, made false public statements, withheld evidence which weakened her case, continued to prosecute after a judge found her evidence insufficient and engaged in conduct that was dishonest.
Bringing charges for political reasons is one of the worst possible abuses of office. A State Attorney has vast resources and we pay for them. She can call on an army of police, detectives and forensic experts to build her case. Defendants must counter this at personal expense. That is one reason it is unethical and unconscionable for a prosecutor to go forward with a weak case. If evidence creates reasonable doubt in the prosecutor’s mind the case should never go before a judge.
It brings to mind the Duke Lacrosse case –a 2006 trial in which players on the University lacrosse team were falsely prosecuted. In the event, a stripper accused three members of rape. The media built a narrative of privileged Ivy League frat boys abusing a poor victim of race economics. It led to the resignation and disbarment of Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong. It was also a costly and unnecessary disruption in the lives of the defendants. Had they been found guilty it would have been a lot worse. That was a real possibility given the public pressure for a conviction.
Prosecutors who succumb to the emotions of the moment and abandon their ethics do not deserve to practice law. The complaints against State Attorney Mosby are well founded and should set an example for all who put politics above their professional ethics.