Hung jury in first Baltimore police trial was one vote away from acquittal

posted at 7:01 pm on January 16, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

Every once in a while our society surprises me and that’s what happened in Baltimore recently. When the first police officer in the Freddie Gray case went to court it ended in a mistrial. That was surprising enough in and of itself. I’m fairly sure that when the city, led by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, decided to put the officers on trial they were fairly sure that any jury they seated would bring back a conviction. That’s probably why they fought so hard against moving the case out to an area where they might find a slightly more impartial panel. But the story has taken a turn.

This first trial against Officer William Porter didn’t bring back a verdict, but I’d been assuming that they just ran into one recalcitrant person who wouldn’t vote for a conviction. As it turned out, however, when they considered the most serious charge against him, the opposite was true. (Baltimore Sun)

The jury in the trial of Baltimore Police Officer William G. Porter was one vote from acquitting him of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Freddie Gray, the most serious charge he faced, according to sources familiar with the deliberations.

Judge Barry G. Williams declared a mistrial because the jury deadlocked on all four charges last month. Jurors were two votes from convicting Porter of misconduct in office, and more divided on charges of assault and reckless endangerment, sources said.

How the jury voted was not publicly revealed, and the judge ruled that jurors’ names should not be revealed.

In the end, it would appear that everything came down to the concept of “evil motive and bad faith.” The jurors seemed almost willing to bring in Porter guilty on some form of negligence for not buckling Freddie Gray into his seat in the police van, but all but one of them rejected the idea that he had acted in malice, seeking to harm the suspect.

I have to give the people of Baltimore credit. I was being rather cynical and simply assumed that the avalanche of press reports blaming the police and the lack of support from their own city government would ensure a quick guilty verdict. We won’t know what deliberations went on regarding the evidence presented any time soon (if ever) but clearly the jurors dug into it and attempted to do their jobs.

The remaining question now is what happens to Porter next. The city wants him to testify in the trials of the five remaining police involved in the case, but he’s not interested in doing so. Had he been acquitted on all charges he might have been compelled to testify because Double Jeopardy rules would have prevented him from being tried again and he wouldn’t be giving evidence against himself. Conversely, if he’d been found guilty, a bit of cooperation might have seen a better deal cut for him. But now, with the possibility of another trial looming, it looks as if they won’t be able to force him to the stand to bear witness against his fellow officers.

This story will drag on all through the year, so I’m sure we’ve not seen the last of it here.

BaltimoreVanPD


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Comments

Some Lefty website to leak the names and addresses of the racist jurors so that they get what they deserve (per CivilDiscourse and Marcus) in 5 .. 4 .. 3 …

ShainS on January 16, 2016 at 7:07 PM

Jury verdicts are often surprising.
Lawyers hate juries.
Judges are much easier to predict (and, in some cases) manipulate.

AesopFan on January 16, 2016 at 7:07 PM

I have to give the people of Baltimore credit. I was being rather cynical and simply assumed that the avalanche of press reports blaming the police and the lack of support from their own city government would ensure a quick guilty verdict

.

Same here Jazz. I am rather surprised.

bazil9 on January 16, 2016 at 7:16 PM

The jury in the trial of Baltimore Police Officer William G. Porter was one vote from acquitting him of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Freddie Gray, the most serious charge he faced, according to sources familiar with the deliberations.

…is there …an evil white guy we can blame for that?

JugEarsButtHurt on January 16, 2016 at 7:18 PM

Some Lefty website to leak the names and addresses of the racist jurors so that they get what they deserve (per CivilDiscourse and Marcus) in 5 .. 4 .. 3 …

ShainS on January 16, 2016 at 7:07 PM

That’s a very scary thought.
Same happened in the Casey Anthony trail here in Fl.
Even tho I was highly upset by the verdict, the system needs to work.

bazil9 on January 16, 2016 at 7:21 PM

Not to worry. Acquittal is right around the corner…..

Indiana Jim on January 16, 2016 at 7:27 PM

If you think about it, the number of people out there protesting the police is really kind of small. Just loud and violent. I bet most of the citizens appreciate what the police try to do.

Cindy Munford on January 16, 2016 at 7:28 PM

We found OU812!!!

WryTrvllr on January 16, 2016 at 7:38 PM

Only 75 more dead last year!!!

WryTrvllr on January 16, 2016 at 7:39 PM

If you think about it, the number of people out there protesting the police is really kind of small. Just loud and violent. I bet most of the citizens appreciate what the police try to do.

Cindy Munford on January 16, 2016 at 7:28 PM

A college friend from Johannesburg once told me to carefully watch the staged protest marches at the time shown on our TV networks.

It typically was the same dozen marchers shown from about 15 different angles to imply a much larger crowd existed.

Nowadays when the Lefty network shills try to propagandize same I look for a particularly bright shirt worn by one of the “protesters” then see how many times they walk by the camera from however many angles. More often than not our press haven’t changed their visual tricks of deception.

viking01 on January 16, 2016 at 7:40 PM

viking01 on January 16, 2016 at 7:40 PM

Thx for the reminder as to why I hate the media.

bazil9 on January 16, 2016 at 7:42 PM

I have to give the people of Baltimore credit. I was being rather cynical and simply assumed that the avalanche of press reports blaming the police and the lack of support from their own city government would ensure a quick guilty verdict

.

Same here Jazz. I am rather surprised.

bazil9 on January 16, 2016 at 7:16 PM

I’m damn pleased. The people on the jury were old school. We see the thugs, we don’t see the good, hard working everyday folk. The ones, for instance, who perform jury duty.

katy the mean old lady on January 16, 2016 at 7:44 PM

I bet most of the citizens appreciate what the police try to do.

Cindy Munford on January 16, 2016 at 7:28 PM

They do, Cindy.

katy the mean old lady on January 16, 2016 at 7:46 PM

bazil9 on January 16, 2016 at 7:16 PM

I’m damn pleased. The people on the jury were old school. We see the thugs, we don’t see the good, hard working everyday folk. The ones, for instance, who perform jury duty.

katy the mean old lady on January 16, 2016 at 7:44 PM

Yeah KTMOL, It’s nice to have my faith restored, when like Jazz said-you become so cynical.
There’s been so much negative..you expect it.

bazil9 on January 16, 2016 at 7:47 PM

Cindy Munford on January 16, 2016 at 7:28 PM

They do, Cindy.

katy the mean old lady on January 16, 2016 at 7:46 PM

Back in the day and a different career-I worked closely with the police..
they have a hard job and people don’t realize how much bull shit they put up with daily.
My sister was engaged to a cop for a while..he would tell me stories that sometimes I knew personally I couldn’t handle.
My degree was in Criminal Justice but I had seen enough that I knew being a cop wasn’t an option for me.

bazil9 on January 16, 2016 at 7:52 PM

Does anyone know the racial makeup of the jury?

Rod on January 16, 2016 at 7:55 PM

Does anyone know the racial makeup of the jury?

Rod on January 16, 2016 at 7:55 PM

Eight black, four white.

katy the mean old lady on January 16, 2016 at 8:00 PM

Shocking results

No. This is the expected results when people are overcharged for political reasons. See George Zimmerman.

NotCoach on January 16, 2016 at 8:01 PM

Does anyone know the racial makeup of the jury?

Rod on January 16, 2016 at 7:55 PM

“A black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple…”

Oh, wait…. That’s James Watts’ Department of the Interior….

viking01 on January 16, 2016 at 8:01 PM

viking01 on January 16, 2016 at 7:40 PM

Remember when the press was running around the Cindy Shehan protest of W and someone finally showed that there was more press than anyone actually interested in that poor woman.

Cindy Munford on January 16, 2016 at 8:22 PM

Cindy Munford on January 16, 2016 at 8:22 PM

Sure do.

I can feel for the grief Cindy Sheehan felt for the loss of her son soldier Casey but not for the Angria Mitchells and similar DNC shills pouncing like vultures to exploit her grief.

viking01 on January 16, 2016 at 8:41 PM

Eight black, four white.

Walk into a bar.

Bertram Cabot Jr. on January 16, 2016 at 8:57 PM

If you think about it, the number of people out there protesting the police is really kind of small. Just loud and violent. I bet most of the citizens appreciate what the police try to do.

Cindy Munford on January 16, 2016 at 7:28 PM

Exactly. And the media give the attention to the bad apples and make things look worse than they actually are.

talkingpoints on January 16, 2016 at 9:00 PM

I have to give the people of Baltimore credit. I was being rather cynical and simply assumed that the avalanche of press reports blaming the police and the lack of support from their own city government would ensure a quick guilty verdict

Give the outcome of the Porter trial, which I loosely followed, I think it’s unlikely any of these police officers will be doing any time. I expect continued mistrials and for this to drag on and on and on.

Furthermore, the prosecutors are claiming they must have Porter’s testimony or the other trials can’t go forward. If that’s the case, the actual evidence of any crimes committed must be very weak indeed.

Honestly, the smart thing to do would have been to accuse maybe the van driver of negligent homicide. The overcharging and politicization in the case has been ridiculous and likely destroyed any chance at a conviction (and then a conviction being overturn on appeal).

Doomberg on January 16, 2016 at 9:08 PM

The jurors seemed almost willing to bring in Porter guilty on some form of negligence for not buckling Freddie Gray into his seat in the police van, but all but one of them rejected the idea that he had acted in malice, seeking to harm the suspect.

Was listening to WBAL a couple of days ago on the drive home, and they had one of their pocket lawyers on to discuss the numbers. He seemed to think that the jury did not understand the definition of negligence, as he was of the opinion that the prosecution hadn’t come close to proving it. That falls on the judge for giving bad instructions. If I remember correctly, the jury actually came back at one point and asked for clarification on something, and the judge refused, saying they had everything they needed.

I’m not overly impressed with the judge. But he seems to understand how screwed up the cases are. Now we get to wait for the Special Appeals Court to rule on whether or not Porter has to testify. It could be weeks, or even months, before a ruling comes down.

I think we’re going to see the cases basically collapse. It’s going to be another hot summer in Baltimore….

nukemhill on January 16, 2016 at 9:44 PM

Solid citizens and true.

Can we set up a GoFundMe account to buy Ms.Mosby a spanking new douche bag? Maybe a six-pack. This is far from over.

Mason on January 16, 2016 at 9:59 PM

viking01 on January 16, 2016 at 8:41 PM

Agreed. I never criticize people’s grief and bless her heart she had reason to grieve.

Cindy Munford on January 17, 2016 at 1:31 AM

There’s a tremendous amount of Pooch-Screwing going on in Baltimore.

Another Drew on January 17, 2016 at 2:25 AM

Over-zealous prosecution is a crime. See Mike Nifong, Ms. Mosby.

HomeoftheBrave on January 17, 2016 at 7:33 AM

Had he been acquitted on all charges he might have been compelled to testify because Double Jeopardy rules would have prevented him from being tried again and he wouldn’t be giving evidence against himself.

Not really true, Jazz. It would only protect him from being charged again with the crimes he had faced before. If the prosecutors heard anything that might relate to another crime, they would be on that like a bird on a june bug. He has nothing to motivate him to testify except an immunity deal (for any new crimes).

That’s assuming, of course, a prosecutor out to get him for anything he could get. And we all know that would never happen. *eyeroll*

GWB on January 17, 2016 at 7:34 AM

The wheels of justice turn s-l-o-w-l-y…

vnvet on January 17, 2016 at 9:54 AM

….Honestly, the smart thing to do would have been to accuse maybe the van driver of negligent homicide. The overcharging and politicization in the case has been ridiculous and likely destroyed any chance at a conviction (and then a conviction being overturn on appeal).

Doomberg on January 16, 2016 at 9:08 PM

I get the point, but “smart”? Read about Gray, and you know that if he’d been strapped in “properly” he’d have worked another angle to get the same or closest similar results.

As a “reward” for malfeasance, it would do to put the twit Mosby and her buddies unarmed on indefinite Baltimore street patrol, if only as “negotiators”, and see how that works out…

RL on January 17, 2016 at 10:18 AM

Jazz sezz:

This story will drag on all through the year, so I’m sure we’ve not seen the last of it here.

You got that right. I proffer this:

The Mythology of Marilyn Mosby (Apologies to Wiki)

“In (Greek mythology) American Legal Jurisprudence, (Sisyphus) Marilyn Mosby was the (king of Ephyra) State’s Attorney for Baltimore, Md., now known as (Corinth) East Coast Hell Hole. (S)he was punished for (his) her self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to (roll an immense boulder up a hill) try and re-try the same case, only to watch it (roll back down) end in mistrials and endless motions, repeating this action for eternity.”

BigAlSouth on January 17, 2016 at 10:25 AM

Seems like God threw a monkey wrench in this deal.

wukong on January 17, 2016 at 10:46 AM

Agreed. I never criticize people’s grief and bless her heart she had reason to grieve.

Cindy Munford on January 17, 2016 at 1:31 AM

Cindy had an agenda and very little of it was about Casey. We were in Crawford for those four days and another thing the MSM was reluctant to show is that Bush supporters outnumbered Sheehan’s thugs by about 3 to 1, at least.

WhirledPeas on January 17, 2016 at 11:02 AM

I too am proud of the jury for hanging tough. The judge , however , is suspect. Can the prosecution move to have the judge replaced due to his comments and ruling Porter would have to testify ?

mgj48 on January 17, 2016 at 7:12 PM