Thursday, July 28, 2016

Marilyn Mosby Revealed

When Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby filed murder and other criminal charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray last year many professional observers, including me, suspected she was politically ambitious, incompetent, reckless, inexperienced or all of the above.  Even ordinary citizens wondered at her speed and failure to use all the investigative tools at her disposal.

However, many were willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.  I understand that.  I have done that for leaders who I assume know more than I do, and I want to trust their competence and good faith.

Still, as it became more obvious even to laymen that Mosby's criminal cases weren't even close, many still refused to criticize her.  The editorial board of the Baltimore Sun, one of her chief apologists, still doesn't understand that a prosecutor's duty is to justice, that one cannot use criminal trials to air out facts or make a political statement without proof of a crime.  (Earth to Sun: Mosby could and should have used the Grand Jury to collect facts, properly apply the law to the facts, and then air the proceedings.) 

I wonder whether the Sun would have written the same editorial had they first watched Mosby's news conference. Angry, petulant, and stunningly unprofessional, she ranted about her grievances.  My highlights:
  • It was the police department's fault, they were biased. This after she boasted last year about her own "parallel" investigation, ignoring the official police report in making her decision to charge. (Of course, the public now knows that she didn't investigate anything using the sheriff's office as she falsely claimed she did.)
  • The police "unreasonably" chased Freddie Gray.  Except her own trial team had to concede that under the law police were justified in such a chase.  Where is the memo from Mosby to her prosecutors instructing them to ignore Supreme Court law in all the other cases her office prosecutes?  Hope she gets that out to the police department. 
  • A defendant shouldn't have the right to choose to be tried by a judge.  Oh-no-she-didn't Mosby insinuated that the judge was biased and now wants prosecutors to choose the factfinder, a breathtakingly arrogant proposal in light of her own overzealousness, from which these defendants were saved by an impartial judge.  Her "reform" - which would be opposed by minorities - will cost her any remaining credibility with the bar. 
After this rant Mosby refused to take questions, and she made the rounds of television appearances on condition that she couldn't be interviewed live. In other words, she wanted only to tell her angry story without facing up to legitimate scrutiny.  She's claiming credit for new police procedures and body cameras, reforms that didn't require phony criminal charges to make happen.  

What did Mosby really tell us yesterday?  That she's ethically blind and legally challenged, an immature, angry woman with a personal agenda who learned nothing about the law or her duties over the past year.  Last year she won heaps of praise for her poise and forcefulness.   
This time, shown at eye level on the street, she seemed smaller -- diminished, defensive and angry as she pointed fingers at others for the failure of her office to win convictions against any of the six officers charged. The Marilyn Mosby on my screen this morning seemed far less in control or powerfully righteous.
The Sun's David Zurawik, a Mosby admirer last year, went on to suggest that this was due to the "toll" the case had taken on her.  I don't think so.  She was angry last year, an anger that showed in her manner and seeped into her delivery.  As for toll, her staff did the hard work of the trials while she watched.  She is still angry, but this time in the embarrassment of failure, a failure she brought upon herself.

We saw the real Mosby yesterday, a scary sight for the citizens of Baltimore.  Many will think she "tried," they may credit her for "courage," but they are fooling themselves. We citizens will pay the price as Mosby's baseless prosecutions and poisonous press conferences make police officers back off from their duties, knowing that Mosby is looking to take them down even when they act in good faith.  Actually, as crime statistics and personal experiences attest, we already are. 


  1. Mosby is making everything about her. Notice that?
    Also I think from the beginning Mosby either thought the cops would plea -or- knew from the beginning there was nothing there so she could say, "I tried"

    Mosby had no issues taking awards and gifts after lying to everyone saying an independent investigation was done.
    When Mosby's "rough ride" theory didn't work, they then changed their tune to, the cops should have known Gray would have died.

    Mosby is a menace not only to Balitimore but to our Justice System.

    How dare Mosby make this about her? It is sickening.

  2. By the way, Mosby is blaming the former Mayor of Baltimore for the rise of homicides.

  3. My question to you would be, who supervises Marilyn Mosby? Was there no one from the prosecutors office encouraging a more thorough, slower investigation, if they truly believed they had a case against the six police officers.
    Did Shatzow and Bledsoe have discretion in how they tried the case?

    There must be quite a lot of damage done between the prosecutors office and the police department at this point.
    Her angry press conference yesterday did not do much to promote co-operation in the judicial system. And that is a shame.

    1. Mosby answers only to the voters who elected her. As to what advice she got from Schatzow and Bledsoe, that's anyone's guess. It looks to me like both were all in all the way.

    2. I hope she will be disbarred. She should bu punished both professionally and financially so as to discourage this type of malicious prosecution in the future.

  4. Her news conference was ridiculous and totally unprofessional. I was stunned by how petty, delusional and out of her depth she seemed to be. Blaming the judge? Come on, this judge was more than fair to the prosecution, he kept the trials in Baltimore City and gave prosecutors every opportunity to prove their cases. And oh by the way the first trial was heard by a jury who also failed to convict, didn't hear Ms. Mosby comment on that. Any chance Baltimore goes from elected to appointed State's Attorney?

  5. Miss Croyder,
    I just watched Mosby's rant for the second time. It was an incredible spectacle. I kept having to remind myself this person is actually the SA of a large city. She made many, many outrageous statements, but the most unbelievable was her criticizing the fact she didn't have a say in whether the officers had a bench, or jury trail. What an extraordinary comment for a SA to make. It was disgusting how she painted herself as a victim. This is the person who followed a political agenda, instead of her oath of office, in maliciously charging the six officers. They are the victims. They and their families have been living a nightmare for more than a year.
    Finally, what was most disturbing in her rant, and quite apparent, was Mosby's lack of respect for the criminal justice system. Instead of attempting to help the citizens understand the process, she used angry, unprofessional rhetoric to incite. It was a shameful display.
    Charles Gilbert

  6. There must be some accountability here for the $6.4 mil. settlement with the plaintiffs. To evade the low limitations on damages imposed by governmental immunity doctrines, the plaintiffs would have been obliged to frame their claim as a civil rights action. This would have prompted removal to federal court, before a predominately middle class jury. "Failure to train" would not appear to be a viable theory of liability here, since the defendants don't deny awareness of the applicable seat belt policy as set forth in General Order G-14. The language of this policy vests the officer with a considerable measure of discretion, and there is abundant evidence to confirm that Gray was too combative to seat belt safely. As construed by Judge Williams, G-14 would appear to pass Constitutional muster. This would leave the plaintiffs with the burden of proving the defendants were aware of the risk that Gray would leave the safety of the bench or floor to engage in reckless behavior, and were "deliberately indifferent" to that risk. An impossible burden, as it seems to me.