John Banzhaf George Washington University law professor has filed complaints against Baltimore City’s State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and two deputy state attorneys involved in the well-publicized Freddie Gray case.
Banzhaf cites ethics violations, “fraudulent or misleading tactics,” not providing evidence to the defense, and “charg[ing] the officers without probable cause” as the reasons for the complaints.
Detective Dawnyell Taylor reportedly revealed in case notes that she was handed a narrative by the prosecution to read to the grand jury. She wrote that the narrative “had several things that I found to be inconsistent with our investigation.” Taylor added, “I thought the statements in the narrative were misquoted.”
In one of the leaked text messages, Taylor also reportedly told the lead investigator she didn’t feel comfortable reading the script provided to her. “I’m fine with finding the facts but between us I believe we omitted key things from their combined statements,” she explained.
In a related development, Fox News reports that George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf has filed complaints against Marilyn Mosby with the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland. He alleges that Mosby and two deputies committed ethics violations, used “fraudulent or misleading tactics,” withheld evidence from the defense, and brought charges without probable cause against the six Baltimore police officers.
Banzhaf is a long time critic of prosecutors. He started out as a man of the left and may still be for all I know. However, he has attacked prosecutors of all political stripes including, perhaps most notably, the infamous Mike Nifong, who was disbarred for the way he handled the 2006 Duke lacrosse case.
The leaked text messages discussed above, if accurately reported, figure to bolster Banzhaf’s complaints.
Finally, in yet another Freddy Gray related development, the Baltimore Sun reports that Lisa Phelps, a 15-year veteran prosecutor who objected to continuing the prosecution of one of the six officers involved with Gray, has resigned. Phelps was assigned to prosecute Officer Garrett Miller and to handle the retrial of Officer William Porter. She reportedly raised concerns over whether the trial of Miller, which was set to begin last week, should proceed.
It didn’t. Mosby dropped all charges against Miller, Porter, and Sgt. Alicia White. Phelps resigned anyway, just two days after Mosby dropped the charges.
Phelps declined to say why she resigned. Michael Schatzow, Mosby’s chief deputy, wouldn’t answer directly the question of whether Phelps had expressed reservations about the cases. He did say:
Everybody has moments where they question the witness, they question the legal theory, question something else. For us to start talking about work product conversations — that’s not conducive. It’s not how we run this office.
Exactly how Mosby does run her office is a question that likely will receive plenty of scrutiny in the coming weeks.