Freddie Gray case: Grand jury indictments expected soon
Prosecutors may use Grand Jury proceeding to modify charges
The Baltimore Sun is reporting that defense counsel for the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray anticipate that they will receive formal grand jury indictments within the next two weeks.
At present the officers are charged in District Court, which is a lower-level court not suited to the severity of the charges (which include second-degree depraved-heart murder.) Accordingly, it has always been anticipated that the charges would be moved to the Circuit Court, where jury trials are held, and where a probable cause hearing on those charges is already scheduled for May 27.
In the usual course of events an indictment would occur before that probable cause hearing, thus the expectation that the indictments will be handed down within the next two weeks.
The Grand Jury will hear evidence presented only by the prosecution, as is normally the case. Although the defense can challenge the evidence presented by the State, it may not present any evidence of its own. All parties therefore expect that the Grand Jury will, indeed, indict the officers.
The Grand Jury proceeding is secret, and the State Attorney’s Office is already declining to comment. Nevertheless, there are circumstances in which Grand Jury testimony may ultimately be revealed to the public; for example, if a witness’s testimony at trial differs from their testimony before the Grand Jury, their earlier statements can be used to impeach their trial statements.
Such inconsistencies in the State’s narrative may be particularly acute in this case. Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby is already being fiercely challenged on multiple public mis-statements of fact and law. It is for this reason, among many others, that defense counsel for all six officers have collectively filed a motion to have the charges against the officers dismissed, or alternatively, to have Mosby recused from the case.
It is possible that the State may choose to use the Grand Jury proceeding to modify the charges by presenting to the Grand Jury a set of alternative charges better supported by the evidence.
[Note (5-13-15, 11:55am): This post has been edited to correct earlier inversion of “District Court” and “Circuit Court; thanks to commenter bsidle below for pointing out the error.]
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You got the Courts backwards. The police officers are charged in the District Court which is the lower court in Maryland. Upon indictment, the cases will be moved to the Circuit Court which has jurisdiction to hear felonies and hold jury trials. Just another example of the failure of the news media to understand the legal issues in this case.
I sure did, thanks. I’d blame it on the newspaper source–which also got it wrong–but we have the same court structure here in MA, I should have caught it.
Just too rushed this morning, I guess. 🙂
Thanks for the heads up, fixing now.
We all make mistakes…
Of course, Marilyn Mosby is probably finding out that the learning curve is especially steep on a high profile case such as this one…
Some people are just ineducable.
Sgt. Alicia White is charged with Assault, Manslaughter and Official Misconduct based solely on this factual rendition:
I don’t know Maryland Statutes or case-law. But in many States this rendition would not support the above mentioned charges.
Maryland uses the term “manslaughter” to refer to criminally negligent homicide. The rendition is a bit contradictory in Whites case even for criminally negligent homicide. If White was assigned to investigate civilian complaints regarding Grays arrest, and did not supervise any of the other officers, her duty was merely to attempt question Gray, not intervene on Gray’s behalf with officers who had physical custody of Gray.
And do they not have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the death that happened about a week later was causally connected to the negligent act. In other words, had they sent him to the hospital right then, he would have lived.
Is there anything about that in the published reports?
I believe that the prosecution would have to show that the negligent acts of the defendants resulted in the death of Mr. Gray. Since Mr. Gray was evidently conscious when he entered the van, belligerent and disruptive, and there is no allegation of a rough ride, or assault (in the classic sense of a deliberate battering in the van), the prosecution will have not have an easy time in an unbiased court.
Gray had spinal surgery at the hospital and died very soon after the surgery. It’s possible that the surgeon was negligent. Perhaps a different surgeon could have saved him. And of course the autopsy was done after the surgery and the medical examiner cannot be certain beyond a reasonable doubt what damage was caused by the cops and what was caused by the surgeon. Only the surgeon would know for sure.
There’s an historic, ironic use of a grand jury, rat thar.
It’d be interesting to know when this lil’ rope-a-dope has ever been used in the history of EVAH to pull an incompetent, agendized PA’s chestnuts out of the fire she/he built.
I expect we will be treated to LOTS more “firsts” in the sage of Miss Marilyn, and her magic technicolor traveling tent show and slammer avoidance spectacular!
At least it will be a step in the right direction (presumably) for due process for the LEOs.
Did Marilyn go to the ‘Affirmative Action Law School’? That would explain a lot ….
Six ham sandwiches, coming up!
Don’t count your sandwiches before they’re made.
“The Grand Jury will hear evidence presented only by the prosecution, as is normally the case. Although the defense can challenge the evidence presented by the State, it may not present any evidence of its own.”
That means that…contrary to the history here…NOW the LEOs get some due process. They have lawyers, and those lawyers give every indication of being aggressively at work.
Miss Marilyn is not going to find this a smooth process, and she’s NOW going to be limited to what the law MIGHT support.
An unbiased GJ will see that, by defense counsel tipping the lid, the empty kettle Mosby brings to court is just another political vacuum can.
Will people with the [email protected]#$ing “ham sandwich analogy!
The analogy was made in the 1930’s. There have been a lot of reforms made since then, especially in the 70’s and 80’s.
Yes it is easier to get an indictment then it is to get a conviction in trial, but that is the way it is supposed to go.
It’s generally sourced to Sol Wachtler, who used the line in an 1985 interview.
but it’s the internet, so who knows?
Good old Sol Wachtler.
The same Sol Wachtler who as Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals (their state supreme court) railroaded Bernie Goetz, substantively changing New York State law for the sole purpose of enabling a retroactive conviction.
The same Sol Wachtler who was having an affair while married, and not JUST with some broad, not JUST with a broad who was related to him by marriage, but with a broad with interests in various inheritances and trusts in excess of $20 million for which Wachtler was a executor and trustee, and for which services he received nearly $1million in payment.
Layers up on layers upon layers of duplicitousness and conflicts of interest.
But did the Honorable Chief Judge stop there? Of course not.
In 1991, three years after the affair began the woman dumped his ass, and poor Sol couldn’t handle it. He began to harass her, intensely, and in 1992 he was arrested on charges of extortion, racketeering, and blackmail. He was sentenced to Federal prison, where he ended up serving 13 months.
In 2007 New York State saw fit to give him back his law license. No, I’m not kidding.
Today, of course, the rock-solid liberal Wacthler has a sinecure at Touro Law School in New York as a “Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment,” and where his faculty biography mentions not whit of the above sordid history. I wonder if he teaches any ethics classes, as well?
Yeah, good old Sol Wachtler.
What. A. Piece. Of. Work.
Granted Touro is not a top ranked lawschool, but seems you could find plenty of professor talent in a city like New York. New Jersey, Illinois and Louisiana are noted for their corruption, but New York is no slouch in that department!
I remember the Wachtler debacles. I had no idea law schools were so hard up or so far down the libtard road that somebody like Wachtler could distinguish them as a bona fide institution.
They way it has been quoted, like a proverbial expression, it sounds like it much be older than Sol Wachtler, but it has always been attributed to him as far as I know, if it hsasd been attributed at all.
The takeaway would be that Wachtler either thinks he didn’t name the type of sandwich, (perhaps using a different adjective with sandwich) or he named a different type of sandwich, but not pastrami, which Marcia Kramer did not recognize or did not remember properly. Hero sandwich?
I remember researching it in the Ferguson days.
Wachtler was paraphrasing a quote from the 30’s. I will have to research it again to find the exact ( original ) quote, but it’s gonna be hard with all the noise from Ferguson in a google search now.
I really rail against this because it should be noted that some grand juries never indict anybody. They are used as investigative bodies and have been very effective, especially in cases involving “the mob” and public corruption in general.
Actually, it was the good old days of the ’30s when the “runaway” grand jury still existed. That was the exact opposite of the modern ham sandwich grand jury.
I will never stop using the ham sandwich analogy!
I’m fascinated on how it bothers all of you to see this Black woman do her job. Prosecute cops for a black Maryland victim.I guess only white Maryland racist scumbag criminals deserve the benefit of a Maryland prosecutor.
Even Jane Q. Public here can see that she is not doing her job, which is to pursue justice(for all) not vengeance. The lawyers here can spell out and explain the exact issues, but my take is she is way, way off. Madison DA Ismael Ozanne did his job, as difficult as it may have been, this SA is playing fast and loose with six lives hanging in the balance. She has an agenda all right, but actual justice?
I guess BECAUSE her “race” is “not white” then she can do NO WRONG?? Competence was bestowed on her AT BIRTH? Did she spring fully clothed from the loins of her mother or did she even require birth? Too bad, race hustler, not everyone values RACE above all else.
But truthfully, you’re fascinated by watching the clothes go ’round in your mommy’s dryer, and can watch for hours and hours… And only drool most of the time.
Complaining about how government officials do their job is a Great American Pastime. So is playing the race card unfortunately.
If all you can get out of an unsentimental look at the facts and applicable law in this case is the skin color of the prosecutor, you are never going to understand the outcome.
I am not a lawyer but I know enough. I am not an American citizen but I am Australian.
Reading the facts of the case as they have been released, I think that Mosby has overcharged because of her own zealotry towards the #blacklivesmatter crowd.
There is little in the way of evidence to back up these charges, especially the charges laid against the black police officers and especially Sgt White.
You are way off base in your comments.
M1, you appear to be a product of the modern public “education” system where you learned to use concepts to filter the facts rather than use logic to follow the facts.
Your thinking sounds a lot like what I heard from the KKK (That militant Democrat institution except you flip the races) when I was a young: See everything through the filter of race and discard the facts that do not fit the narrative. I suspect you do not even see that you do this thus what read here at LI makes no sense to you. You should get a refund from your college.
I don’t think people are bothered as much as bemused by the rookie mistakes and disgusted by the unseemly, self-aggrandizing personal promotion. As for doing her job, I wasn’t aware that ineptitude is part of the job description.
I believe that part if this announcement is a motion about what Mosby presents to a GJ?
Hey M1. What is more important to you? The State Attorney’s race or her competence?
And why do you hate Black cops?
There’s one thing that can be said for Marilyn Mosby.
She appears to have (much more?) distorted the law, rather than the facts. That might even apply to the knife.
Many counts in the indictments could even be dismissed.
Perhaps a defense attorney ought to hope Ms. Mosby, a young inexperienced prosecutor, remains on the case. Why would any defense attorney want the best, most experienced prosecutor going after his client when he could have this one?
IANAL… If the ham sandwich analogy is banal and outdated, what about turkey sandwiches? Are they difficult to indict?
Dark meat or white? Can I ask that…???
Certainly. White meat, without the skin.
GRILL the bastard…!!!
I was wondering if the cheese or other condiments matter, myself. Is Provolone more so than Colby? Of course there is always the “with mayo” defense!
No defendant’s story is more full of holes than… wait for it.. swiss cheese.
I had considered suggesting a Panini, but it seemed somehow disrespectful. So I won’t mention it.
Panini sounds sort of minority-ish, so you must be a bigot.
It IS disrespectful. Leave the dagoes out of it. They do stuff better than anybody else – food, chocolate, cheese, wine, sausage, textiles, all design, clothing, leather goods, jewelry, art, sculpture, ceramics, architecture, cars, guns, woodwork, hair, singers (better tenors than the Irish), composers, musical instruments – you name it, they do it best (I’ll allow that the Brits and the French make fine cheese, Brits are great musicians and woodcrafters, French and Argentinians are great dancers, and the French and Californians make fine wine). No others need apply.
But Italians have it all. They’ve got STYLE!
Australian wine, especially wine from the Hunter District and South Australia is better than California wine.
This sounds like something that I am gonna need to do some in depth research. This is a research “case” I can get into.
No, no, no.
The Aussies may eventually catch up to CA in quality, but they’ve got a long road ahead to get there. I hope their wine industry doesn’t go the way of Chile’s.
Grem, I volunteer to work with you on your research project. Anybody else in? 🙂
And the Germans bought Ducati!
But the Germans didn’t dream it. Anybody can buy something. I saw a Ducati once in my life. It was a work of art.
Much like if you ever encounter an Austin Martin Vanquish, it has the same feeling, Jack.
Grem, there are Ducati dealers in the U.S., but what I saw was a 60s-era vintage racer, showroom condition, in the UK. Absolutely gorgeous.
Is this what you saw? http://www.astonmartin.com/en-us/cars/the-new-vanquish
The Brits can DO cars, too. Exquisite refinement.
Basically just an older model.
State’s attorney Marilyn Mosby says she is not surprised by the onslaught of criticism over her decision to charge six officers in the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray. Read the full story here: http://bit.ly/1d3c66L
Basically just an older model.