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Freddie Gray Trial VERDICT WATCH: Verdict or Mistrial today?

Freddie Gray Trial VERDICT WATCH: Verdict or Mistrial today?

Day 3 of jury deliberations in William Porter trial — will the deadlock break?


UPDATE: (12/16/15, 3:01PM):  Told that both Porter and Mosby are in the courtroom.

UPDATE: (12/16/15, 2:43PM):  State’s Attorney Mosby is in the courtroom, first time since deliberations began.

UPDATE: (12/16/15, 2:34PM):  Another buzz from the jury.

UPDATE: (12/16/15, 12:38PM): Jury breaking for lunch.

UPDATE: (12/16/15, Noon): Jury requested a transcript of witness testimony. This request was denied. The identity of the particular witness was not released.

UPDATE: (12/16/15, 11:54AM): Prosecution arrives at courthouse to hear what jury note is all about.

UPDATE: (12/16/15, 11:38AM): There are reports of a “buzz” from the jury, and CNN is reporting that the jury has a message for Judge Williams.  WBAL TV reports the jurors have a question. Might be merely a lunch-related matter.

Today begins the third day of deliberations in the “Freddie Gray” trial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter.

Porter is on trial for involuntary manslaughter (10 year penalty), second-degree assault (10 year penalty), reckless endangerment (5 year penalty), and misconduct in office (undefined penalty). These charges stem from the in-custody spinal injury of Freddie Gray in a police van following his arrest on April 12. Gray would die some days later.

We’ve covered the “Freddie Gray” matter extensively from its inception, here at Legal Insurrection.

We’ll keep you updated here as news emerges over the course of the day.

In the meantime, you can follow along with the day’s developments in the Twitter feed embedded below.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Attorney Andrew Branca and his firm Law of Self Defense have been providing internationally-recognized expertise in American self-defense law for almost 20 years in the form of blogging, books, live seminars & online training (both accredited for CLE), public speaking engagements, and individualized legal consultation.
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What this trial will determine is not whether or not William Porter is guilty or innocent, but it will show conclusively how these police officers cannot receive a fair trial in Baltimore. When the dust settles, it will likely come out that one or more of the jurors were adamant about a guilty verdict based solely upon either a hatred towards the police endemic in the aftermath of the event or they were afraid for their own lives should they vote not guilty. Should a guilty verdict be reached on the paucity of evidence, it would seem to be obvious that the verdict will be contested on the grounds of not having a fair venue.

Wow, that’s a REALLY nice jury room. 🙂

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

I’m thinking we will end up with a mistrial, for no particular reason,just a gut feeling. Baltimore will burn none the less.

    userpen in reply to Moe4. | December 16, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Baltimore will burn. Yes it will. That’s the way it works. People of privilege built it. People whose lives matter burn it down. But who will build it back again? Muslim immigrants I suppose.

The fact that they are hung on all 3 counts is a clear sign that there is someone who joined the jury who was set on voting guilty no matter what. There is no way a juror could have considered the manslaughter one beyond a reasonable doubt.

Knowing Baltimore, however, its the opposite and there is one honest soul not willing to give in to fear.

Whatever happened to the other arrestees in the van? I recall one who was supposed to have said that Gray was screaming and thrashing around like crazy. Also, did they ever give comment on the rough ride theory that has been been thrown around?

The prisoner Donta Allen was on defense list but was never called , apparently not predictable, and after the witness tampering job Janice Bledsoe’s girlfriend did on him , his recanted story problematical. I think they thought it was so good a case for defense , they didn’t need him or his headaches ..

I’m guessing a few are holding out for a guilty verdict based on their biases coming into the trial. I would much rather see a hung jury versus a compromise verdict.
If the jury is hung, I wonder if they retry him or do they drop the charges in exchange for testimony against other defendants. I can’t see any of the other cases being any stronger. Outside of Porter testifying to a conspiracy to give arrestees who cause trouble “rough rides”, it’s hard to see these cases going anywhere or convictions standing on appeal.

Given that justice is likely not possible in this community, perhaps a guilty verdict and quick appeal based on change of venue, which the others can piggyback on, is the best way to see justice served in the long run.

Whether thats even feasible, possible or probable, I am no lawyer, obviously. Since the entire trial is political, why can’t we accept such a political solution?

Thanks, Andrew. I still see the “rough ride” theorists to this day, compleyely confident that such is what clearly happened.

How can we live together in a society if we aren’t even operating off of the same factual information? And do we really want to be part of a society where perhaps a third of our society opts for their own “truth” over actual fact?

    “I still see the “rough ride” theorists to this day, completely confident that such is what clearly happened.”

    Baltimore PD has form for giving “rough rides” — they’ve paid out tens of millions in settlements for doing exactly what they’re being accused of by some here.

    Relatives of Dondi Johnson Sr., who was left a paraplegic after a 2005 police van ride, won a $7.4 million verdict against police officers. A year earlier, Jeffrey Alston was awarded $39 million by a jury after he became paralyzed from the neck down as the result of a van ride. Others have also received payouts after filing lawsuits.

    For some, such injuries have been inflicted by what is known as a “rough ride” — an “unsanctioned technique” in which police vans are driven to cause “injury or pain” to unbuckled, handcuffed detainees, former city police officer Charles J. Key testified as an expert five years ago in a lawsuit over Johnson’s subsequent death.

    I haven’t seen any evidence at all that that’s what happened in the case of Freddie Gray, and the fact that this all happened on regular city streets during busy daylight hours and not a single witness came forward to say “hey, you know, that police van was driving pretty crazy” leads me to believe that that’s not what happened here. I don’t think any of the police officers charged with murder in this case are murderers.

    But I can understand where the initial “rough ride” theory came from. It’s not like people just plucked that idea out of thin air — it’s something that they’ve seen before. It’s just a shame that the camera in the back of the van was apparently not working that day — the officers now caught up in this trial are probably regretful of that themselves.

    Char Char Binks in reply to SeanInLI. | December 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    The rough-ride theorists will have to fight it out with the fatal-injury-during-arrest theorists. Or, like Thom Hartmann, at least in the early days of this case, they can believe both contradictory theories, maybe the first for the Goodson trial and the second for the rest.

CNN reports the jury has a message for Judge Williams? Verdict? Or time for lunch? 🙂

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

No. Appeals are not quick and the person has to spend the time in jail.

I think that if you can appeal immediately after a mistrial then a mistrial and appeal is best.

Prosecution arrives at courthouse to hear what jury note is all about.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Char Char Binks | December 16, 2015 at 12:03 pm

According to “Pastor West”, preparing to quell an inevitable riot is provocation for a riot, much the way a woman clutching her purse or locking her car door was trying to provoke POTUS into robbing her.

Jury requested a transcript of witness testimony. This request was denied. The identity of the particular witness was not released.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Jurors must rely on memory/ notes? Jurors cannot check to make sure they did not misinterpret what a witness said?

    Is that unusual?

    If the jurors have conflicting memories of exactly what one witness said — and the difference is material to the case — why would a transcript be denied?

      Courts vary in whether they’ll allow transcripts of testimony.

      Argument for is that it helps avoid gross errors in recollecting testimony.

      Argument against is that the transcript is not the actual testimony, the actual testimony was the witness speaking, and that brings with it their demeanor, the tone of their voice, etc., all of which can contribute to a perception of credibility (or lack thereof).

      If any of you recall the Zimmerman trial witness Rachel Jeantel, no typed transcript could possibly capture the true “essence” of her testimony. 🙂

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Ragspierre in reply to Andrew Branca. | December 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm

        One other reason for NOT sending in a transcript…

        it tends to allow the jury to focus, or emphasize, the testimony of that particular witness to the exclusion of other testimony.

        Of course, they WILL do that with witness testimony in which they invest more credibility or merit, but courts are loath to do anything overt to influence that.

          Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | December 16, 2015 at 1:52 pm

          When I was on a jury I asked for the transcript of one witness’s testimony. He’d testified all day, and I wanted to quickly scan it for one thing that I wasn’t sure how he’d described. I can no longer remember exactly what it was I was looking for, but it was something that didn’t seem that important at the time, but later testimony made it more important. But the judge said we couldn’t have the transcript, and I should instead ask for a readback. I couldn’t specify exactly what time he’d said whatever it was, and I was certainly not going to subject my fellow jurors to a full day of readbacks, so I just gave up on the point. I think justice would have been better served if I’d been given 15 minutes with the transcript.

          Still, I have no doubt that we came to the right verdict. Not only were we unanimous on all questions, but when the one remaining alternate joined us she said she agreed with us on all of them.

        HandyGandy in reply to Andrew Branca. | December 16, 2015 at 12:45 pm

        I thought that it was usually for logistic reasons. It takes time for a court reporter to produce transcripts, so they don’t exist.

        I remember some trials where the jurors asked for testimony, the judge did not give it to them, but they had the court reporter read back the testimony. I seem to remember that happening in Zimmerman too.

        I’m surprised the judge didn’t have the reporter read it back.

          I think there were a few statements read back during the Zimmerman hearing, but that was at the request of the lawyers, and it was during the trial itself. I’m not sure whether the jury requested any testimony to be read back to them during deliberation, or if they did, whether that request was granted.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | December 16, 2015 at 1:46 pm

        I am confused by this Juries requests and questions they just don’t make sense to me. Asking for clarification of terms that should be clear just from the wording. Then the 2 requests for Transcripts. But not knowing what is going on in the Jury room it’s hard to say.

        Maybe there is a single holdout who just will not hear reason and they are tying to point out to that person that what they think is in error.

    HandyGandy in reply to Andrew Branca. | December 16, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Because of the speed of the announcement of deadlock, I think that the jury is leaning towards not guilty per rangerjagc’s comment yesterday.

    I think the request for a transcript is a good sign for acquittal. if it were four or five hold outs, I think they would deliberate without asking for transcripts, because transcripts would not change so many minds. I think they are trying to convince one or two people. I think the other jurors think they may be successful, otherwise why bother with transcripts.

    Just channeling Prof. Trewlaney again.

    I’ve been watching conspiracy theories bloom on Twitter about the judge having denied them the transcript they wanted to see. “If transcript of witness testimony is needed by jury to help make decisions in #FreddieGray trial, why did judge deny it??!!”

    So there’s another reason to riot if there’s an acquittal or mistrial. I guess.

Does Baltimore dismiss the alternates once deliberations begin?
Do they have to have 12 on a jury in Baltimore?

One thing that occurs to me is that the judge can try to force a verdict by requiring the jury to deliberate through Christmas.
Since the “I don”t care what the evidence says, Porter is guilty crowd” doesn’t believe in Christmas this would favor the prosecution.

I know that if I felt a person was innocent, there is no way that I would vote guilty. Doubly so for a cop. But i would feel pressured if I had to deliberate through Christmas.

My solution would be to send a note to the judge saying something like, “We’ve looked over all the evidence thoroughly. It is clearly obvious that there is no proof that Porter might have committed a crime. Throw in ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ and it is not even close. Some of the other jurors are just plain stupid and won’t vote not guilty even if the ghost of Freddy Gray appeared in the jury room and told us Officer Porter was not guilty. I’m just going to nap through the rest of the deliberations. Wake me when you declare a mistrial.” There is a possibility the judge would throw me in jail for a couple of days, but jail or deliberations going nowhere what’s the difference. The judge would have to declare a mistrial.

    Char Char Binks in reply to HandyGandy. | December 16, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    “Since the “I don”t care what the evidence says, Porter is guilty crowd” doesn’t believe in Christmas…”. I highly doubt that’s true of most of them. Remember the left is made up of strange bedfellows.

    Since the “I don”t care what the evidence says, Porter is guilty crowd” doesn’t believe in Christmas…

    Black Americans are actually more likely to believe in Christmas than white ones.

      HandyGandy in reply to Amy in FL. | December 16, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Where did I say Black?
      I’m sure a lot of the people in that category are Black, butthere are also people who are white.

      There are also lots of black people who do not fit into that category.

That twitter feed is something…

    Lucien Cordier in reply to David Jay. | December 16, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Most seem to have already convicted the cops and don’t understand what these stupid “evidence”, “trial”, and “jury” things are for.

    I just browsed through that twitter feed, and it’s actually a little terrifying. I’m glad I’m nowhere near Baltimore.

    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby have a lot to answer for. If Baltimore burns, they’re the ones who provided the kindling.

    HandyGandy in reply to David Jay. | December 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I find the ones complaining of BPD in riot gear the most interesting.

      I like the ones complaining about the fact that this trial is much more “closed” than the Zimmerman trial. “Why are trials not being filmed/televised, no pictures allowed even? What happened to promise of transparency?” Well, honey, who chose all ya’ll’s leaders and legislators? Who set those rules you don’t like?
      Elections have consequences.

The illegal arrest ,I think , is a red herring , that will disappear . If you remember it was listed as a Misconduct charge and not spelled out in the charges . I believe this was another Mosby attempt to inflame the public , then get to trial , nothing there , just like the inhaler that they were denying Freddie . I guess they discovered he was not prescribed the medication and was just using it to cover up the drug use , which you noticed was very muted in this case . The only reference I saw was the paramedic thought he overdosed.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to dmi60ex. | December 16, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Well the illegal arrest claim was all based on state law, Mrs. Mosby seemed to either not care or not be smart enough to understand that the arrest for the knife was based on Baltimore city law. Just more evidence of how these charges came about and how inappropriate they really are.

Another buzz from the jury.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

State’s Attorney Mosby is in the courtroom, first time since deliberations began.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Told that both Porter and Mosby are in the courtroom.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


So, where does Mosby go from here?

Hung Jury on all charges. Amazing.

I can’t believe that there was somebody who wouldn’t even compromise on 2nd degree murder. A true SJW believer, I guess.

The news is tweeting hung jury.


–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Whoa. I wouldn’t have guessed they’d be hung on all four charges.

    Ragspierre in reply to Andrew Branca. | December 16, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    GOOD! A good result. It shows that jurors could not be cowed, regardless of how outrageous the pressure put on them.

    Now the prosecutors have to decided if they want to spend the various forms of capital available to them with another trial.

    Proud of the strong jurors who would not “compromise”!

Has the judge or the jury revealed the count?

    I very much doubt the court would do so, but I’m rather certain at least one of the jurors will. Especially those voting for conviction and returning to their neighborhoods will want to make clear that THEY were on the side of JUSTICE, it was those other (1, 3, 7, 8 whatever) jurors who were the RACIST or whatever.

    I expect we’ll see a subset of them popping up on the talking head shows soon, just like after the Zimmerman trial.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

New post up:


–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

There is talk of a a gag order now. I hope we get to hear whether this mistrial was the result of voir dire failing to exclude one or more activists.

So they went from hung on three charges to hung on all four charges.

“What a difference a day makes.”

Not the verdict I hoped for, but also not the one I feared.

“Another group of protesters called police officers racist, chanting, “No justice, no peace” and, “All night, all day, we will fight for Freddie Gray.”

Is there a group of protesters angry and upset at the thousands of American moms like Gloria Darden who failed to properly raise, nurture, socialize and supervise a young developing Freddie Gray who matured into a teen and adult lacking empathy, compassion and respect for his peaceful neighbors, as well as his depressed neighbors who purchased community and people harming dangerous drugs from Freddie Gray?

Is there a group of compassionate, concerned Baltimore residents LOUDLY protesting moms like Gloria Darden and Toya Graham who are chiefly responsible for creating America’s expanding and shameful *National Epidemic of Childhood Abuse and Neglect*, aka *Poverty*, that for more than two generations has deprived untold numbers of American kids from experiencing and enjoying a fairly happy American kid childhood with *Safe Streets* to travel and play on.

*Child Abuse and Neglect* that is primarily responsible for populating our prisons with depressed, angry, frustrated, undisciplined, unpredictable, sometimes suicidal teens and adults full of resentment for irresponsibly being introduced to a life of hardships and struggles.

*Early Childhood Abuse and Neglect* that often leads depressed, sometimes suicidal *(NY Times May 18, 2015 – Rise in Suicide by Black Children Surprises Researchers)* children to develop into depressed, angry, frustrated, unpredictable, sometimes suicidal teens and adults lacking empathy and compassion for others, though needing to vent their pent up negative emotions, often causing emotional and physical harm to peaceful people…instead of venting their anger, resentment and pain on the immature single moms and/or dads who introduced them to a life of pain and struggle by irresponsibly building a family before acquiring the practical skills, *PATIENCE* and means to successfully raise and nurture a developing young child who matures into a fairly happy responsible teen and adult with mostly fond memories of his or her childhood.

The question all concerned, compassionate Americans should seriously be asking ourselves, our elected, civil, social, community and religious leaders is, “What real, substantial changes in our society’s attitude and laws need to occur to prevent abuse that often causes young kids to mature into depressed, frustrated, angry teens and adults as a result of experiencing the *emotional and/or physical trauma of an abusive childhood?”*

*Suicidal Behaviors in the African American Community*

Black *(Children’s)* Lives Matter; Take Pride In Parenting; *End Our National Epidemic of Child Abuse and Neglect*; End Community Violence, Police Fear & Educator’s Frustrations