View Poll Results: Should the prosecution re-try the case?

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Thread: Jury Deadlocks in the Freddie Gray Case. Should Prosecutors Re-Try?

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Jury Deadlocks in the Freddie Gray Case. Should Prosecutors Re-Try?

    "The jury resumed its talks Wednesday morning in the trial of Officer William Porter, one of six officers charged in the death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man who broke his neck in April while being transported in a police van, shackled but not wearing a seat belt."

    I've viewed the video many times. Looks to me like his neck wasn't broken in the van, but when he was taken down and handcuffed. I base that on the immense paid he was in, his almost totally limp body, and the fact that he first asked for medical help before he was placed in the van. If he was unrestrained, but already had a broken neck, even a gentle stop could have put enough pressure on his neck to do further damage to his spinal cord. I strongly suspect that whatever witness said Freddie Gray was kicking the doors in the van was a paid shill for the prosecution.

    If his neck was broken on take-down, then the only question is whether the officers used excessive force. The charge of involuntary manslaughter would not stick.

    Do you agree? Disagree? Either why, why?

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    Judge declares mistrial in Freddie Gray case after jury deadlocks

    The case hinged not on what Porter did, but what prosecutors said he didnít do.

    He was accused of failing to get medical help for a critically wounded Gray and was charged with manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...ares-mistrial/
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  3. #3
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    The case hinged not on what Porter did, but what prosecutors said he didnít do.

    He was accused of failing to get medical help for a critically wounded Gray and was charged with manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...ares-mistrial/
    Yes, but in some states if a person is an accomplice to a crime, either before, or after they can be charged. The question is whether his lack of humanity, and his participation in the circumstances of Gray's death will be considered as culpable.
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    the thin blue line sometimes widens to cover the sins of others...

    shame they couldn't have special judicial procedures, such as in the military, the driver could have been found guilty of Cruelty and maltreatment or Noncompliance with procedural rules or

    but either way...the man must live his life with this deed he partook in and a normal progression towards disability and thru retirement till he passes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    "The jury resumed its talks Wednesday morning in the trial of Officer William Porter, one of six officers charged in the death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man who broke his neck in April while being transported in a police van, shackled but not wearing a seat belt."

    I've viewed the video many times. Looks to me like his neck wasn't broken in the van, but when he was taken down and handcuffed. I base that on the immense paid he was in, his almost totally limp body, and the fact that he first asked for medical help before he was placed in the van. If he was unrestrained, but already had a broken neck, even a gentle stop could have put enough pressure on his neck to do further damage to his spinal cord. I strongly suspect that whatever witness said Freddie Gray was kicking the doors in the van was a paid shill for the prosecution.

    If his neck was broken on take-down, then the only question is whether the officers used excessive force. The charge of involuntary manslaughter would not stick.

    Do you agree? Disagree? Either why, why?

    Article.
    Isnt a broken neck kinda proof of excessive force?

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Isnt a broken neck kinda proof of excessive force?
    No more so than a fatal bullet wound or three in the chest of a criminal would be "kinda proof of excessive force" on the part of an intended victim who fired the shots. If the crime being stopped was forcible rape and it took deadly force to stop the rapist, then the force isn't excessive. If the "crime" being stopped was non-violent shoplifting then the force would be excessive. For what crime was the suspect arrested, how much did he resist, and was arresting him even at the risk of serious injury warranted by the original crime, or was it a case of cops going too far simply because they could?

    It would be interesting to know how the jury deadlocked: mostly evenly, or very lopsided one way or the other.

    I wonder if the prosecutor hasn't over-charged this one. The defendant having done nothing to actually inflict the fatal injuries, but simply failing to recognize that his prisoner needed aid and to summon that aid the charges look a little stiff, especially if the victim really was a well known, career criminal with a penchant for faking injuries to avoid time at the jail.

    Several of the options in the poll on this thread are legally inaccurate. A hung jury results in a mistrial with the prosecutor free to bring charges again. And we do not know whether the defendant is guilty or innocent of the charges brought against him. That is the job of the jury to determine based on the facts admissible in court. He is legally presumed innocent until a conviction is secured.

    One would hope that any decision regarding a new trial would be made based entirely on whether the prosecutor sincerely believes a crime has occurred and that he has sufficient evidence to grant a reasonable chance of conviction on the charges being brought. To try a man on charges that the prosecutor doesn't believe will likely result in conviction would seem unethical. To bring charges out of public pressure--such as to avoid riots--would seem downright unjust.

    I would be very hesitant to accept any plea deal in this case in which the maximum possible sentence was 1 day or $1 higher than I was willing to pay as I'd not trust the judge to go along with any sentencing agreements given the heated social environment in the community there.

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  7. #7
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    Scapegoat...witch hunt...political expediency. The liberals in charge, in Baltimore, are scared stiff that they may be booted from office if they do not hold someone to account...in a politically meaningful way.

    Should have included the scapegoat choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Scapegoat...witch hunt...political expediency. The liberals in charge, in Baltimore, are scared stiff that they may be booted from office if they do not hold someone to account...in a politically meaningful way.

    Should have included the scapegoat choice.
    ^^^ Good point
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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    No more so than a fatal bullet wound or three in the chest of a criminal would be "kinda proof of excessive force" on the part of an intended victim who fired the shots. If the crime being stopped was forcible rape and it took deadly force to stop the rapist, then the force isn't excessive. If the "crime" being stopped was non-violent shoplifting then the force would be excessive. For what crime was the suspect arrested, how much did he resist, and was arresting him even at the risk of serious injury warranted by the original crime, or was it a case of cops going too far simply because they could?

    <snip>

    Charles
    I would assume its not easy to break a neck ... its not like in the movies. I think that some injuries are evidence of excessive force regardless of circumstances. A broken neck or broken back are two that come to mind ; maybe crushed testicles would be another (really, how would one justify crushing a guy's testicles? "He was resisting so I stomped on his testicles on purpose to get him to calm down").

    I bullet wound is somewhat different ... so I would leave that to another thread's discussion if it comes up again (and it has come up before).
    Last edited by davidmcbeth; 12-17-2015 at 12:55 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    I would assume its not easy to break a neck
    And that assumption may well be in error. I know a couple of folks who broke their necks playing football. Turns out one of them had a congenital condition where the vertebrae never fully solidified into solid bone. The spinal cord was spared major injury in this case, but the neck was broken. I know another fellow who is in a wheelchair from taking a couple of hard checks while playing hockey.

    I can easily imagine that if a largish or known dangerous man, or someone on drugs is resisting such that a couple of offers take him down that the force of hitting the ground could be sufficient to break a neck or other bones rather commonly, especially if he lands on something other than a level surface. Hitting the edge of curb, landing on someone else's arm, etc.

    My point is that while the human body can be highly resilient, it can also be freakishly fragile in some cases. One guy survives a sky diving jump with a chute that doesn't open; another twists his angle stepping off a curb, falls, hits his head and is dead.

    We all know of the cases of a single punch to the face killing a man. We had one here in my area a couple of years ago of a teenage soccer playing killing the adult male ref by landing a single punch to the head when a call went wrong. We remember these cases and use them as evidence that we are justified in not taking a butt whooping before we resort to deadly force to defend ourselves.

    As for testicles, stomping a man who is down and out would be excessive in most cases. But if he is down and reaching for a gun? If he is up, dangerous, and his groin is a convenient location to land a disabling blow, even from a baton or improvised weapon? What is it we say about finding yourself in a "fair fight"?

    Fully disclosure, I've not much followed this case. Show me a heretofore LAC who gets seriously injured or killed during what should be a routine interaction with the cops and I take a higher level of interest. But when it is a career criminal I just kind of lose interests. So I don't know many details. It is entirely possible that the deceased was the victim of completely unjustified, horrific police brutality and torture that lead directly to his death.

    But especially in the case of career criminals, it is also entirely possible that maybe he wasn't quite as compliant and easy to deal with as some might like to try to portray after-the-fact.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Scapegoat...witch hunt...political expediency. The liberals in charge, in Baltimore, are scared stiff that they may be booted from office if they do not hold someone to account...in a politically meaningful way.
    Seems a decided possibility in this case.
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    And that assumption may well be in error. I know a couple of folks who broke their necks playing football. Turns out one of them had a congenital condition where the vertebrae never fully solidified into solid bone. The spinal cord was spared major injury in this case, but the neck was broken. I know another fellow who is in a wheelchair from taking a couple of hard checks while playing hockey.

    I can easily imagine that if a largish or known dangerous man, or someone on drugs is resisting such that a couple of offers take him down that the force of hitting the ground could be sufficient to break a neck or other bones rather commonly, especially if he lands on something other than a level surface. Hitting the edge of curb, landing on someone else's arm, etc.

    My point is that while the human body can be highly resilient, it can also be freakishly fragile in some cases. One guy survives a sky diving jump with a chute that doesn't open; another twists his angle stepping off a curb, falls, hits his head and is dead.

    We all know of the cases of a single punch to the face killing a man. We had one here in my area a couple of years ago of a teenage soccer playing killing the adult male ref by landing a single punch to the head when a call went wrong. We remember these cases and use them as evidence that we are justified in not taking a butt whooping before we resort to deadly force to defend ourselves.

    As for testicles, stomping a man who is down and out would be excessive in most cases. But if he is down and reaching for a gun? If he is up, dangerous, and his groin is a convenient location to land a disabling blow, even from a baton or improvised weapon? What is it we say about finding yourself in a "fair fight"?

    Fully disclosure, I've not much followed this case. Show me a heretofore LAC who gets seriously injured or killed during what should be a routine interaction with the cops and I take a higher level of interest. But when it is a career criminal I just kind of lose interests. So I don't know many details. It is entirely possible that the deceased was the victim of completely unjustified, horrific police brutality and torture that lead directly to his death.

    But especially in the case of career criminals, it is also entirely possible that maybe he wasn't quite as compliant and easy to deal with as some might like to try to portray after-the-fact.

    Charles
    Well, folks have been killed with a simple punch too, one-punch-kill is the vernacular term. And people have been convicted of crimes related to such deaths (murder/manslaughter).

    Of course the operative guide is contained within the word "reasonable". One would not assume a mere touching of a person would cause tissue damage (even if one knows that some people with disease would be bruised just by a mere touching).

    I note a point in your post ... that ex-cons being arrested can be subjected to more force than non-cons as if the definition of "reasonable" is more a moving target than a static one. Perhaps this is true. But I also think that an escalating scale of force should always be followed to allow the person the opportunity to comply with any lawful orders and minimize harm to all involved. Not every arrest should start with the maximum force that can be brought to bear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    "The jury resumed its talks Wednesday morning in the trial of Officer William Porter, one of six officers charged in the death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man who broke his neck in April while being transported in a police van, shackled but not wearing a seat belt."

    I've viewed the video many times. Looks to me like his neck wasn't broken in the van, but when he was taken down and handcuffed. I base that on the immense paid he was in, his almost totally limp body, and the fact that he first asked for medical help before he was placed in the van. If he was unrestrained, but already had a broken neck, even a gentle stop could have put enough pressure on his neck to do further damage to his spinal cord. I strongly suspect that whatever witness said Freddie Gray was kicking the doors in the van was a paid shill for the prosecution.

    If his neck was broken on take-down, then the only question is whether the officers used excessive force. The charge of involuntary manslaughter would not stick.

    Do you agree? Disagree? Either why, why?

    Article.
    I've been wondering that since the charges were first announced publicly. There is one video where it definitely looks like there is something wrong with his ability to control one of his legs. The other leg can be seen moving as though he's trying to get it under himself as he's moved along by police, but one is seeming limp and a bit floppy at one point.

    I can't help but wonder why it was decided to charge the injury during the ride in the van rather than during the initial arrest. Is the trial a show to keep Baltimore from burning again? Is the prosecutor trying put on a losing case to mollify public opinion while keeping some sort of support from police? I wish I knew.
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    UPDATE!! New trial date set for officer charged in Freddie Gray death

    A Baltimore police officer whose trial on manslaughter charges related to death of Freddie Gray ended last week with a hung jury will be retried next year, according to Maryland court officials. A new trial date for Officer William Porter, the first of six Baltimore police officers to go to trial in the case, was set for June 13, 2016, officials said Monday.

    What remains unclear is the role that Officer Porter would play in the trial of other officers, at least one of whom is scheduled to be tried in January. Prosecutors had expected to call Officer Porter as a witness in the trials of some of his colleagues. However, in the absence of a conviction or acquittal in the case, Officer Porter could invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself and avoid testifying against the other officers.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...charged-fredd/

    https://news.google.com/news/rtc?ncl...LgowRoImti0qxM 210 Articles ATM
    Last edited by Nightmare; 12-21-2015 at 04:17 PM.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    I note a point in your post ... that ex-cons being arrested can be subjected to more force than non-cons as if the definition of "reasonable" is more a moving target than a static one. Perhaps this is true. But I also think that an escalating scale of force should always be followed to allow the person the opportunity to comply with any lawful orders and minimize harm to all involved. Not every arrest should start with the maximum force that can be brought to bear.
    I didn't intend to make that point, but I think you've teased out a valid consideration from what I wrote.

    I agree that officers should use an escalating force scale allowing a person to comply with lawful orders.

    However, what is "reasonable" does depend on the totality of circumstances. What is reasonable when reacting to a well-known, long-time antagonist who has made prior threats to kill you (eg your girlfriend's ex cornering you in a dark parking lot) is probably different than what is reasonable when reacting to an un-known person with whom there is no history (eg what appears to be a panhandler in that same parking lot).

    If a guy got into a knock-down-drag-out the last three times officers tried to arrest him, I can't fault the officers for starting with more force than if they've never met the guy before. If a suspect took shots at the last couple of cops who tried to arrest him and/or if there is a violent felony warrant for his arrest, I expect the cops will treat him differently--and with greater force--than if they are dealing with a completely unknown suspect.

    What is "reasonable" depends partly on what the actor already knows.

    And treating someone justly or fairly doesn't mean treating him exactly the same as you treat everyone else.

    I love dogs and have never had a serious problem with one. But the simple fact is that a 2 pound miniature yappy yap rarely poses as much of a threat to my well being as does a 70 pound anything. An unhappy yappy yap might get the side of my foot before he bites my ankle. An unhappy 70 pounder may well get to look down my barrel over otherwise similar conduct because I simply can't risk the injury a single bite from the bigger dog will inflict.

    Charles
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    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    I find the term escalating force scale interesting. As nearly as I can see, such is already in use.
    If you surrender peacefully, no force is used.
    If you resist, as much force as police can muster will be used to apprehend you, barring lethal weapons. This shows much more restraint than I would, since if someone tries to punch me I would assume that they are trying to kill me.
    Pull a weapon on a cop, and every cop in the neighborhood will try and kill you.

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