Must-Flee TV: The Misadventures of Baltimore's Marilyn Mosby, Child Prosecutor
The most controversial of these proposals, and the one that most exposes Mosby’s petulant streak, is her desire to restrict a defendant’s option to be tried by a judge rather than a jury. “The jury trial as an institution reflects our democratic values of representation and deliberative decision-making,” she wrote. “State law should allow prosecutors and judges to reject a defendant's preference for a bench trial, whereby a diversely composed jury delivers a higher quality of justice in controlling bias in the courtroom, helps maintain public trust and imparts credibility on the outcome of the case, especially as it relates to police misconduct.”
The three acquittals in the Freddie Gray case were delivered by a single judge, Barry Williams, whose written rationales exposed for all to see the many defects in the State’s case. Reasonable doubt abounded here, and as Williams would write over and over, the State failed to prove even a single count of the many lodged against the officers. Under Mosby’s proposal, some officer similarly accused in a politically charged case in the future would be prohibited from opting for a bench trial. No doubt Mosby would have preferred to grab twelve rioters off the streets of Baltimore and trade their bricks and Molotov cocktails for steno pads before seating them in the jury box, there to deliver a quick conviction and bundle the officers off to prison. Fortunately for those officers, Maryland law allowed them the option of having their case heard by Judge Williams and not by the “diversely composed jury” of Mosby’s fantasies.
As of this writing, 261 people had been murdered in Baltimore this year, with a good number of them meeting their end in the very neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested. If Mosby’s proposal to mandate a jury trial for accused police officers is adopted, would any sane police officer place his life and freedom at risk by trying to arrest those responsible for the mayhem? And for that matter, would any sane person even consider joining the Baltimore Police Department in the first place?
There will be no improvement of conditions in Baltimore until the city’s crime is brought under control and order is restored to its most violent neighborhoods. Marilyn Mosby is an impediment to this. The city will be improved with her departure from office. May it come soon.