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Freddie Gray: VERDICT! Not guilty on all charges!

Freddie Gray: VERDICT! Not guilty on all charges!

Judge Williams acquits Officer Caesar Goodson in bench trial, Mosby now 0-3

Minutes ago Judge Barry Williams, sitting in a bench trial, acquitted van driver Officer Caesar Goodson of all charges in the death of Freddie Gray, according to Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton.

Freddie Gray Caesar Goodson not guilty

Goodson had been charged with second-degree depraved heart murder, manslaughter, two counts of vehicular manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office.  He faced up to 30 years in prison.

This leaves State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby with a record of 0 and 3 in the “Freddie Gray” prosecutions, following the hung jury of Officer William Porter and the acquittal Officer Edward Nero in a bench trial.

The state has argued a revolving array of three different theories of the case for criminal liability of the officers: (1) “Murder by failure to seatbelt”; (2) “Murder by failure to provide timely medical care”; and (3) “Murder by rough ride.”

In order to obtain a conviction on any of the criminal charges the prosecution must, of course, prove each and every element of that charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Over the course of the last three “Freddie Gray” trials, however, it has become increasingly apparent that the prosecution not only lacks sufficient evidence to meet that high burden, it may lack any direct evidence for any of its theories of the case.

In addition, prosecutors have been repeatedly found to have concealed exculpatory evidence from the defense, that the state’s medical examiner originally believed Gray’s death to have been an accident after testifying that she had always believed the death to be a homicide, and just yesterday it was revealed by the Baltimore Sheriffs Office that the “parallel” investigation purported conducted by that office on behalf of prosecutors never actually took place.

Many have speculated that State’s Attorney Mosby brought the now clearly poorly-founded charges against the six Baltimore officers solely for purposes of political advantage, and that her repeatedly failures to obtain convictions in combination with the now apparent misconduct of prosecutors has in fact seriously undermined her political future.  The Baltimore Sun today quotes Attorney Warren A. Brown, a Mosby critic, as stating:

This is [the prosecutor’s] Waterloo. This is their Gettysburg.  They’ve got to win this. She is virtually persona non grata in the white community and her support is waning in the black community and will continue to wane if she continues to lose these cases.

It remains unclear if prosecutors will continue with the planned trials for three charged officers who have not yet been tried and for the re-trial of Officer William Porter.  Given that it now appears that prosecutors based their charges on an investigation that they themselves conducted, it is now possible that the prosecutors themselves could be called as witnesses to testify in open trial–a circumstance I’ve personally never seen occur in a criminal trial.

The eight-day trial began on June 9 with prosecutors in their opening statement abruptly changing their theory of the case from “Murder by denial of prompt medical care” to “Murder by rough ride.”  It ended on June 20 with the prosecutors all but abandoning the “rough ride” theory of the case that was the heart of their opening statement.  This kind of chaos within the prosecution’s arguments has been typical of their performance in these “Freddie Gray” trials.

My best guess at the start of this “Freddie Gray” circus was that Gray died as a result of his own poor judgment and Newton’s First Law of Motion, by raising himself off the floor of the van on which the officers had placed him, and falling onto his head when the van made a normal change in speed or direction during the last stage of its travels to the police station.  Increasingly, the events appears to support that theory of the case, entirely consistent with the innocence of the offices charged, than it does any of the theories put forth by the prosecution.

–-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 books, live seminars & online training (both accredited for CLE), public speaking engagements, and individualized legal consultation.
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Comments

Now this is what I call social justice!

Good job, Judge Williams!

What next for the Mosby Mob?

    phiremin in reply to Ragspierre. | June 23, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Unfortunately, she will be fine. She has ”double protected status” and the uniformed Social Justice Warriors out there see her as a hero for trying and the acquittal as evidence of a corrupt system.
    She will probably become a legal analyst for MSNBC.

No social justice will be when the prosecutor in this travesty is taking fry orders at the local drive through….

    dahat in reply to bt1. | June 23, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Mosby is 36… so she should remember the Duke lacrosse case and what happened to it’s prosecutor Mike Nifong in the end. Disbarment, jail time (granted only a day) & bankruptcy.

    You’d think a person in her position would be a little more cautious to the far worse penalties for prosecutorial misconduct than just serving fries.

The #BlackLivesMatter crowd is going to be very upset at this one. This is the defendant they really wanted. Now that is out of their reach, watch for terrorist activities to commence tonight.

“Judge Barry Williams”

Greg Brady?! 🙂

9:57 AM – 23 Jun 2016
Twitter
Kevin Rector
@RectorSun
Judge Williams called “rough ride” an “inflammatory term” that is “not to be taken lightly,” and said prosecution didn’t prove it at all.

So when will Baltimore finally turn on Mosby?

    When she removes her costume and reveals that she’s a middle-aged, white, conservative male. Then they’ll howl.

      bt1 in reply to windbag. | June 23, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      Or she could simply affix a “Trump 16”
      sticker to her car.

      heyjoojoo in reply to windbag. | June 23, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      Hilarious. I am so sorry that this is the way things have gone in this country. Even for me as a black man. The system has been tainted with this race baiting and bullying of whites.

    Estragon in reply to EBL. | June 23, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    She will likely be challenged for reelection, and an opponent will make her failure in this series of high-profile prosecutions the centerpiece of the campaign.

    Those who thought the prosecution misguided already oppose her, and they will be joined by those who saw “justice for Freddie” as convictions.

    – –

    But she will probably land on her feet in some soft position with a leftist organization or in media anyway.

It’s unfortunate that God ever bestowed the gift of life to Freddie Gray.

    Milwaukee in reply to faboutlaws. | June 23, 2016 at 11:47 am

    “faboutlaws | June 23, 2016 at 11:17 am
    It’s unfortunate that God ever bestowed the gift of life to Freddie Gray.”

    No.
    All life is a gift from God, and is precious in His sight. Unfortunately Freddie Gray chose use his life to make a long string poor decisions which led him to being in police custody in the first place. May God have mercy on his soul.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to faboutlaws. | June 23, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    What is unfortunate is that Grey wasted that gift.

Correction. Mosby is 0-2-1.

    Estragon in reply to RodFC. | June 23, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Not really, with the mistrial leading off followed by acquittals, especially this one. The other three are almost certain to be acquitted now (they’d be crazy to take anything but a bench trial, and so will Porter if retried).

    If Mosby doesn’t refile against Porter, which seems a long shot if the rest win their bench trials, then the mistrial was just the first loss, softened a bit.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Estragon. | June 23, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      Especially since from all reports Porter would have been acquitted but for one SJW holdout who had decided to convict regardless of the evidence.

healthguyfsu | June 23, 2016 at 11:19 am

Any chance that the taxpayers of that city can recoup the payouts for Freddie Gray’s death? Perhaps they can have Mosby work off the rest of her term without pay for at least some recompense.

    Another Voice in reply to healthguyfsu. | June 23, 2016 at 11:50 am

    All will be fodder for the Civil Suits yet to be heard. The officers in this joint case, as all who were charged, should all receive an amount equal to the payout to Gray’s family for the damages done to their careers and their families. If those who approved the Gray payout found the money to do it once, let their actions be timed by 6 and for those who object, perhaps they can voice that opinion at the poles and not the streets.

So glad this Judge is showing integrity in this case.

However, the process is the punishment for these good officers, and the damage has been done, and continues to be done.

Mosby and Blake need a one-way ticket out of town on a rail with a fresh “tar and feather” wardrobe.

    Milwaukee in reply to Twanger. | June 23, 2016 at 11:50 am

    By allowing the process to unfold, the judge gave two of these defendants “Not Guilty” stamps. Hopefully this gets them clear of further legal problems, although the Feds might still come after them. Had the judge thrown this out at the beginning, they wouldn’t have this small thread of compensation.

      Joe-dallas in reply to Milwaukee. | June 23, 2016 at 12:08 pm

      I would like to see the Feds get involved – This would great opportunity for SCOTUS to breathe live back into the double jeopardy clause of 5A and provide the robust protection 5A was intended.

      FWIw – I am not a big fan of the concept of dual sovereign or separate statutes making multiple crimes out of a single event.

        The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Joe-dallas. | June 23, 2016 at 1:14 pm

        Don’t the feds drum up “violation of civil rights” excuse, thus skirting the double jeopardy clause, or whatever the proper term is? I’m thinking the Rodney King cases.

        Milhouse in reply to Joe-dallas. | June 23, 2016 at 2:09 pm

        What makes you think SCOTUS would reverse its long-standing precedent and adopt your view? Is there even one justice who agrees with you?

          sequester in reply to Milhouse. | June 23, 2016 at 4:00 pm

          Successive Dual Prosecutions have been justified under a doctrine known as dual-sovereignty. The latest dual-sovereignty case before the Supreme Court Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle held 6-2 that successive prosecutions in Puerto Rico are not constitutional, because Puerto Rico’s sovereignty is derived from the United States.

          In a separate concurring opinion, Justices Ginsberg and Thomas voiced their concerns about the dual-sovereignty doctrine. So please don’t say “not a single justice”.

How much money was spent on this? How much anxiety and life disruption did the defendant have to endure?
How much worse are race relations because of this show trial?

    lichau in reply to broomhandle. | June 23, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    The money spent is irrelevant–since it was public money. The fact that cops lives have effectively been ruined–somewhere between “who cares” and “a good thing”; the fact that race relations have gone further down the tube is job security for Mosby and her fellow race hustlers.

    Hey–spent some money, ruined some cops, created more race turmoil–not a bad day.

It has been a bad day for political opportunism and career-oriented public officials.

SJW University and Boston College Law School must be so proud of their AA graduate.

I guess Baltimore County can cancel all those Juror summons for the summer. Any of the remaining officers who choose a jury trial now would have to be crazy.

    ksbsnowowl in reply to CalFed. | June 23, 2016 at 11:52 am

    The question that I’ve wondered recently is this:
    Officer Porter, having opted for a jury trial the first time, been acquitted of some charges, but facing retrial on some that resulted in a hung jury… can he opt for his retrial to be a bench trial? Or is he now “locked in” to a jury trial, since he opted for that the first time?

So, I assume that’s all she wrote. The only outside shot I possibly saw at a conviction (low probability) was involuntary manslaughter (criminal negligence), where the judge determined a “reasonable person” would belt in a cuffed and shackled suspect.
I’m glad that didn’t happen and the judge delivered a full acquittal. But, since we have no “rough ride” and not even negligence for failure to buckle, there is absolutely no path forward for trying the other officers.
So, it looks like Baltimore will be paying Gray’s family AND these officers (back pay at a minimum).

This was the first of the BLM cases that I thought was likely to have a basis. After all, a healthy guy gets arrested, and shows up at the jail with a fatal injury. But, like all of the other stories, it turned out to be just another rush to judgment by political opportunists. This happened at a very high cost to the City of Baltimore and its taxpayers, although Freddie Gray’s family has been enriched beyond their wildest dreams.

This will not be the last such story, because the rush to judgment appears to be the ONLY way anybody can even temporarily argue that the police are engaging in misconduct, and the family profited from it.

We have two groups of people who now have very strong motivations to swoop in on a fresh and undeveloped case, and lie about it.

It’s unfortunate that our President of the United States gave this immoral process a boost, with his intemperate and inaccurate remarks about the Trayvon Martin case, among several others.

    Milwaukee in reply to Valerie. | June 23, 2016 at 11:58 am

    “After all, a healthy guy gets arrested, and shows up at the jail with a fatal injury.”
    Not so fast. He had a history of drug use, that isn’t healthy. He had received a settlement for having excessive levels of lead in his childhood blood, which can damage cognitive functioning problems. Clearly he had a history of poor decision making. The possibility that he was trying to hurt himself to claim police abuse is not inconceivable.

      Valerie in reply to Milwaukee. | June 23, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      That information came later. The only information at the time was that this guy was walking and talking before, and horribly injured, after. The absence of facts, that existed but were not yet transmitted, is a crucial part of this story.

      Ok, we’ll qualify the statement. A ‘fairly’ healthy man entered the system, and a mortally-wounded one left.

      I would think the way Mosby went after this case would kill all of the other cases. After all, Freddie passed through the custody of Officer A and B who arrested him, Officer C who came by during the arrest, and so on until Officer F (this one) was accused of injuring him while in his custody during the drive. To do that, the prosecution had to claim three things: 1-Freddie was ‘fairly’ healthy going into the van, which they did. 2-Freddie was badly wounded coming out of the van, which they did. 3-The injuries were Officer F’s fault.

      Since the prosecution worked so hard to prove Freddie was healthy going into the van, doesn’t that mean by their own admission, Officers A-E in the prisoner’s chain of custody were not responsible for his injuries? Or are they trying for some escalation of injuries on Freddie, i.e. from scratched to bruised to injured to battered to lethally injured, with each officer A-F being assigned a fraction of the blame?

    rabidfox in reply to Valerie. | June 23, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    “We have two groups of people who now have very strong motivations to swoop in on a fresh and undeveloped case, and lie about it.”

    Interesting choice of words. We have a case brewing in Mobile that might be along these lines. A young black man was stopped by cops on a routine traffic violation. The young man is shot three times and dies in the hospital. Witnesses say that the cops just hauled him out of the car and shot him. Cops say that he had a gun in his waistband and instead of raising his hands he reached for it. Gun was found IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM and not at the scene of the crime. Keep your eyes on this one folks, it may blow up yet – there are now outsiders ‘helping’ the family who, to do them justice – seem to be trying VERY hard NOT to turn this into a racial or violent thing.

Humphrey's Executor | June 23, 2016 at 12:07 pm

The other occupant of the van told police he heard Freddie hitting his head against the wall. I think Freddie tried to hurt himself so he’d go to the hospital instead of jail or to bolster a case of police brutality. He succeeded too well. Good riddance.

    Trying to hurt yourself in these circumstances is not a sign of good mental health.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Milwaukee. | June 23, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      “Trying” to injure yourself under ANY circumstances is not a sign of good mental health, lol. 🙂

        Do you or anyone you know have an advanced medical directive / do not resuscitate directive on file? From the moment you signed it, you told the world that yes, you have considered suicide.

Black judge acquits black cop of killing black man. Sounds like racism to me.

Because the Supreme Count today upheld Affirmative Action I want everyone to understand, Mosby is what you get from Affirmative Action!

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Merlin01. | June 23, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    I prefer more realistic language: the Supreme Court upheld racial preferences. Period.

    Ragspierre in reply to Merlin01. | June 23, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    I’ll remind you she passed a bar exam, and not one of those has any “affirmative action” component about them.

    What you suggest is odious.

      Having taken more than one bar exam, I would suggest that there are bar exams and there are bar exams.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Ragspierre in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 23, 2016 at 3:49 pm

        OK. Duh. The California exam is notorisously hard, partly because (last time I checked) you could take it without going to an ABA accredited school…like many lawyers in history). But you aren’t suggesting that she…or anyone else…passed a bar exam based on her race or gender.

        Are you?

          I’m saying that if the concerns is affirmative action could lead to the credentialing of people who don’t actually possess the necessary intellectual capabilities, the fact that the unqualified person also passed a weak-ass bar exam doesn’t suddenly make them capable, nor does it address the stated concern.

          Incidentally, I have no idea if bar exams are weighted for race. Given that admissions to law school clearly are weighted for race, that government contracts clearly are, that government backed mortgages are, and that race is used as a weight in all manner of other government functions, it would not surprise me in the least if some state bars did the same.

          Do YOU know for certain that none do?

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 23, 2016 at 4:25 pm

          Maryland…like California was…allows people to “read the law” or attend a non-ABA accredited school and take the their bar exam.

          Like California, it appears that their exam is on the hard end of the scale.

          http://www.courts.state.md.us/ble/pdfs/passfailstats.pdf The pass/fail rate is…discouraging.

          I don’t know where Mosby took the bar, but she failed it one time according to a speech she gave. That’s hardly remarkable.

          I know of no bar association that allows special dispensation for race or gender. I know mine does not. You?

          Char Char Binks in reply to Ragspierre. | June 23, 2016 at 8:04 pm

          I bet there are ways to cheat. I’m not saying she did, I’m just saying.

Mossy needs to be Nifonged

And the Obama administration will get involved and blame guns.

I found it very interesting that the NAACP decried the verdict. Just goes to show that when it comes down to it, they’d rather support an African-American man who was a drug dealing piece of scum instead of an African-American man who had a good career as a police officer in a tough environment.

Nice.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Twanger. | June 23, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    But you have to remember that that sub-set of the black community, Goodson ceased being black when he became a police officer. To them he isn’t black he is a traitor cop.

Baltimore rioting in 3…2…1…

Char Char Binks | June 23, 2016 at 4:59 pm

That’s classic. It would be interesting to hear or read what Tom Wolfe has to say about recent incidents, from Trayvon on, that he seemed to predict. I love the book; too bad about the execrable movie :).

Voice_of_Reason | June 23, 2016 at 6:42 pm

B.R.A. might as well be a 3rd world banana republic. it must be frustrating for the folks in the burbs watching the incredible incompetence, histrionics, and stupidty of mogadishu on the Chesapeake.

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