Lawsuits filed by Baltimore police officers against Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby must be dismissed, according to the law. The United States Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors acting within the scope of their duties in pursuing criminal prosecution are immune from civil suits.
The role of a prosecutor in a criminal case is to seek justice and represent the People of a given jurisdiction against a person charged with committing a criminal offense. This is exactly what Marilyn Mosby did when the officers involved in Freddie Gray’s death, which the medical examiner ruled a homicide, were indicted by a grand jury.
In criminal cases, particularly felonies, facts are presented to a grand jury to determine if there is probable cause to proceed with criminal charges. If the grand jury feels that there is enough probable cause to proceed, they return an indictment. In the case against the officers, a grand jury felt that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute in the death of Freddie Gray. At that time, the case goes through a process leading up to trial.
During a trial, the prosecutor has the burden of proving that the defendant is, in fact, guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The first officer tried for the death of Freddie Gray was William Porter. Porter was tried in front of a jury and at the end, the jury could not return a verdict. There were some jurors who felt that Porter was guilty and some who felt that he was not guilty.
This fact was overshadowed when the remaining officers elected to have their case heard by Judge Barry Williams, who determined that they were not guilty. Based upon proof presented at the jury trial, some jurors felt that William Porter was guilty, which indicates that Mosby did the right thing in pursing and prosecuting the officers based upon probable cause. One must remember that there are different standards of proof in proceeding with a case versus finding a person guilty.
A single person, in this case the judge who presided over the bench trial, cannot be the determining factor when deciding if a prosecutor abused her power. Mrs. Mosby followed the laws and rules of criminal procedure, she did nothing wrong. We cannot allow people to begin filing civil suits against prosecutors because a defendant is found not guilty. There are men and women found not guilty in trials all the time and it has always been maintained that absent some showing of blatant misconduct, the prosecutor is immune from such civil suits and bar complaints…this case is no different.
If we begin to allow people to bring such suits against prosecutors, then everyone who is ultimately found not guilty or later exonerated after a criminal conviction must be allowed to bring civil suits or bar complaints against the prosecutors in their cases. Under the logic of the officers who seek to sue Mrs. Mosby or have her disbarred, O.J. Simpson, Casey Anthony, and Michael Jackson should have been able to sue and seek disbarment of the prosecutors who pursued their cases.
Mosby’s office did what a prosecutor’s office is supposed to do – there was an investigation followed by a presentation to the grand jury, which returned an indictment, and the case was put before a trier of fact. What America has become used to are prosecutors becoming the trier of fact. We saw this in Cleveland, with Timothy McGinty, and Chicago, with Anita Alvarez.
Prosecutors have never been the trier of fact under the rules of criminal procedure. Their role is to present evidence to the people charged with determining what’s true or not and if the facts fit the elements of the crime charged. When a prosecutor follows the role placed upon them by the criminal justice system, they cannot be subjected to disbarment or civil suits…especially in the absence of gross misconduct, which was not present here.
Mosby should be commended for taking the difficult road and pursing charges against the officers involved in the night Freddie Gray died. It is time for Baltimore police and its union to move forward and work with Mosby in the pursuit of law and order to keep the citizens of Baltimore safe.
Benjamin L. Crump, former president of the National Bar Association, is the attorney for the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown and represents victims of former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, who was convicted of rape charges for preying on African-American women in his capacity as a police officer.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
76 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Ariane McCreeSource:The Herald/YouTube 1 of 76
2. Terrance Franklin2 of 76
3. Miles HallSource:KRON4 3 of 76
4. Darius TarverSource:S. Lee Merritt 4 of 76
5. William Green5 of 76
6. Samuel David Mallard, 196 of 76
7. Kwame "KK" Jones, 17Source:facebook 7 of 76
8. De’von Bailey, 198 of 76
9. Christopher Whitfield, 319 of 76
10. Anthony Hill, 2610 of 76
11. De'Von Bailey, 1911 of 76
12. Eric Logan, 5412 of 76
13. Jamarion Robinson, 2613 of 76
14. Gregory Hill Jr., 3014 of 76
15. JaQuavion Slaton, 2015 of 76
16. Ryan Twyman, 2416 of 76
17. Brandon Webber, 2017 of 76
18. Jimmy Atchison, 2118 of 76
19. Willie McCoy, 2019 of 76
20. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 2120 of 76
21. D’ettrick Griffin, 1821 of 76
22. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 22 of 76
23. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 23 of 76
24. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 24 of 76
25. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 25 of 76
26. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 26 of 76
27. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 27 of 76
28. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 28 of 76
29. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 29 of 76
30. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 30 of 76
31. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 31 of 76
32. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 32 of 76
33. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 33 of 76
34. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 34 of 76
35. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 35 of 76
36. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 36 of 76
37. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 37 of 76
38. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 38 of 76
39. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 39 of 76
40. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 40 of 76
41. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 41 of 76
42. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 42 of 76
43. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 43 of 76
44. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 44 of 76
45. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 45 of 76
46. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 46 of 76
47. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 47 of 76
48. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 48 of 76
49. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 49 of 76
50. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 50 of 76
51. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 51 of 76
52. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 52 of 76
53. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 53 of 76
54. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 54 of 76
55. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 55 of 76
56. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 56 of 76
57. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 57 of 76
58. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 58 of 76
59. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 59 of 76
60. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 60 of 76
61. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 61 of 76
62. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 62 of 76
63. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 63 of 76
64. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 64 of 76
65. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 65 of 76
66. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 66 of 76
67. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 67 of 76
68. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 68 of 76
69. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 69 of 76
70. Patrick Harmon, 5070 of 76
71. Jonathan Hart, 2171 of 76
72. Maurice Granton, 2472 of 76
73. Julius Johnson, 2373 of 76
74. Jamee Johnson, 22Source:S. Lee Merritt 74 of 76
75. Michael Dean, 28Source:S. Lee Merritt 75 of 76
Court Must Dismiss Police Lawsuits Against Marilyn Mosby was originally published on newsone.com