When Maryland State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby lost her third straight trial against the the police officers involved in the Freddie Gray incident, we talked about how she might have an ethical responsibility to simply abandon the remaining trials and cut her losses. That may not be enough for some folks who are observing this fiasco, however. One Georgetown law professor has taken the unusual step of filing charges against Mosby, seeking her disbarment from the profession entirely. (Daily Headlines)
A Georgetown law professor has filed disbarment charges against Marilyn Mosby for her corrupt prosecution of six Baltimore cops in the death of career criminal, Freddie Gray. There have now been 3 trials and Mosby hasn’t come close to winning one yet and has even been excoriated for withholding exculpatory evidence. The list of charges against Mosby are as follows:
- that she did not have probably cause to believe that there was sufficient admissible evidence to support a conviction of the officers;
- that she made public statements regarding the case which were false;
- that she improperly withheld evidence from the defense that was exculpatory;
- that she continued to prosecute cases after the judge assigned to hear the cases found insufficient evidence to support a conviction;
- that she engaged in conduct that was dishonest, fraudulent, deceitful and which misrepresented the facts in the case.
Personally, I don’t see much more danger in this for Mosby than in the lawsuits she’s facing for defamation and wrongful prosecution. In order for an attorney at any level to be completely disbarred from the legal profession the offenses generally need to be numerous and egregious. It can certainly happen in cases of corruption or other instances of the lawyer breaking the law themselves, but we’ve seen no allegations of anything approaching that level with Mosby. Gross incompetence can do it as well, particularly if a defense lawyer routinely makes basic mistakes which result in clients being convicted when they could easily have been cleared or prosecutors who bungle easily winnable trials. It’s easy to call Mosby’s motives into question in the court of public opinion, but not to prove in a court of law. As for bringing the charges in the first place, well… you can’t win ’em all is her most likely defense. This was incredibly poor judgement at a minimum , but I can’t see it rising to the level of criminal negligence or intentional misconduct. (The fact that certain evidence was suppressed might approach that level, but I think it would be a tough case to make stick.)
What’s more in question here isn’t an issue of Mosby being on the receiving end of legal sanctions or prosecution, but what should, by all rights, be the end of her career in both politics and law enforcement. During an interview with The Daily Caller, one Maryland prosecutor who follows these matters opined that she has bungled this case so badly through her own decisions that her credibility is essentially spent. (Law Officer)
Mosby’s office brought charges against all six officers in the case only after conducting its own investigation into the death. Initial reactions in the legal community indicated the charges could be overreaching. Rene Sandler, a Maryland attorney and former prosecutor, told The Daily Caller News Foundation Mosby made a legal mistake that cost her — big time. She says instead of relying on her office’s own investigation, Mosby should have used a grand jury to thoroughly investigate the case.
“I would say her rush to judgment in determining that ‘her’ investigation supported the probable cause necessary to charge these officers rather than fully utilizing the grand jury process likely resulted in the loss of a conviction,” Sandler told TheDCNF.
That sums up rather nicely what’s at the heart of the matter here. Mosby was obviously in such a rush to find someone – anyone – in the government guilty of murdering Freddie Gray and appeasing the rioting crowds who were burning down the city that she left normal protocol behind and chose to conduct her own investigation. That quickly led to the outcome she seemed to clearly desire from the moment she stood on the steps of City Hall and promised the crowds that she would deliver “justice for Freddie Gray.” None of this, however, has thus far deterred Marilyn Mosby from moving forward. Lt. Brian Rice is preparing to go on trial this week.
Mosby had been seen as a rising star in Baltimore politics and clearly hoped to follow in the footsteps of her boss, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. In an ironic twist of fate, she may be doing precisely that. Rawlings-Blake is leaving office after this term with no prospects for anything else on the horizon. Perhaps Mosby can join her somewhere for a quiet retirement retreat.