Many believe the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. For them, we might consider including an image with the definition — the image of Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
Mosby, and her obedient if misguided courtroom prosecutors, are now not just zero for four in their efforts to convict Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray. They are zero for 22, since not a single charge faced by the officers as they approached trial has held water.
While the national news is now hotly focused on the Republican National Convention and on the painful assassination of eight police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, the Freddie Gray case seems like yesterday’s news — a tiny article in the regional or state section of any major publication. The convulsive violence, arson, and attacks on police that followed Gray’s in-custody injury and subsequent death has receded to almost footnote status while six experienced Baltimore cops have fought mightily for their names and futures.
This week dealt the fourth stinging defeat for the politically and ego-driven Mosby and we’re again wondering what, if anything, has she learned this time.
The words of Judge Barry G. Williams, an African American who formerly worked in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, must be ringing in the ears of the failed State’s Attorney and her embarrassed prosecutors, his opinion sounding more like a law school lecture on evidence than a judgment in a high-profile police misconduct case. He intoned that the state had repeatedly and consistently failed to meet their burden of proving charges beyond a reasonable doubt, instead asking the court to rely on “presumptions or assumptions.”
For the third consecutive bench trial, Williams systematically dismantled the prosecution’s “evidence” which too often was little more than supposition and conjecture with no substance. What’s more, Williams has provided the defense fodder for scheduled trials of Officer Garrett Miller and Sgt. Alicia White and the retrial of Officer William Porter, all of whom will certainly ask for bench trials. So undermining to a successful prosecution of any of the officers has been Williams’ verdict language, a second-year law student could easily step in as lead defense attorney.
The question for Ms. Mosby, now dripping with failure, is whether she is capable of responding to Judge Williams’s “call for justice” by dropping all remaining charges against the three officers. Or will insanity prevail as she struggles to vindicate her own bad judgments?
Mr. Hosko is President of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. He previously served as Assistant Director of the FBI for the Criminal Investigative Division.