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
58 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Ryan Twyman, 241 of 58
2. Brandon Webber, 202 of 58
3. Jimmy Atchison, 213 of 58
4. Willie McCoy, 204 of 58
5. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 215 of 58
6. D’ettrick Griffin, 186 of 58
7. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 7 of 58
8. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 8 of 58
9. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 9 of 58
10. Antwon Rose Jr., 17Source:false 10 of 58
11. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 11 of 58
12. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 12 of 58
13. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 13 of 58
14. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 14 of 58
15. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 15 of 58
16. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 16 of 58
17. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 17 of 58
18. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 18 of 58
19. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 19 of 58
20. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 20 of 58
21. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 21 of 58
22. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 22 of 58
23. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 23 of 58
24. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 24 of 58
25. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 25 of 58
26. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 26 of 58
27. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 27 of 58
28. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 28 of 58
29. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 29 of 58
30. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 30 of 58
31. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 31 of 58
32. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 32 of 58
33. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 33 of 58
34. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 34 of 58
35. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 35 of 58
36. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 36 of 58
37. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 37 of 58
38. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 38 of 58
39. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 39 of 58
40. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 40 of 58
41. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 41 of 58
42. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 42 of 58
43. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 43 of 58
44. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 44 of 58
45. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 45 of 58
46. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 46 of 58
47. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 47 of 58
48. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 48 of 58
49. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 49 of 58
50. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 50 of 58
51. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 51 of 58
52. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 52 of 58
53. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 53 of 58
54. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 54 of 58
55. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 55 of 58
56. Patrick Harmon, 5056 of 58
57. Jonathan Hart, 2157 of 58
58. Maurice Granton, 2458 of 58
Court Must Dismiss Police Lawsuits Against Marilyn Mosby was originally published on newsone.com