Baltimore Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby Indicted, Subject to Disbarment Complaints

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Baltimore Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby Indicted, Subject to Disbarment Complaints
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Baltimore Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby Indicted, Subject to Disbarment Complaints; Attorney Grievance Commission Failed to Act on Complaints and Court Rulings

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Marilyn Mosby Indicted By A Federal Grand Jury

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 13, 2022) - Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby may finally face justice as she has just been indicted by a federal grand jury. But years earlier she was the subject of at least four formal complaints seeking her disbarment based upon several different allegations of constitutional and other violations, notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

But, charges Banzhaf, the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland took no action on any of the complaints - which were supported by overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing, including findings by a judge - leaving her free to continue to violate the rights of defendants, as she did regarding the prosecution of several police officers.

Prof Banzhaf, who filed three of the complaints, notes that other prosecutors backed down and refused to continue the criminal prosecutions of the police officers Mosby had charged once they also were threatened with disbarment proceedings, but Mosby remained in office and able to continue to engage in actions which a judge held violated the rights of several defendants.

Although, years ago, she faced at least four ethics complaints seeking her disbarment, and a judge found that she had violated the constitutional rights of the police officers she was trying, the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland appears to have taken no action to rein her in.

This means that, despite all of the adverse findings by several judges, she remained free to continue to violate the rights of criminal defendants, and to engage in other unethical if not illegal prosecutorial abuse, says Banzhaf, who had filed three of the four known complaints.

A "Runaway" Prosecutor

Banzhaf's initial disbarment complaint charged her with violating the constitutional rights of the defendant police officers (based upon the trial judge's own ruling), and of being a "runaway" prosecutor like former Duke lacrosse-player rape-prosecutor Mike Nifong, who was disbarred and eventually bankrupted by the resulting civil law suits. Indeed, Banzhaf has characterized Mosby as Nifong in a dress.

Prof. Banzhaf played a role in bringing down former Durham County, NC, district attorney Nifong over his role in the infamous Duke lacrosse rape cases; his bar complaint filed against then-Congressman Barney Frank helped lead to his censure by the House; his similar complaint against then-Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro helped to discredit her in the 1984 presidential election; and a law suit he orchestrated forced former vice president Spiro T. Agnew to return the money he had taken in bribes.

Banzhaf subsequently filed a new disbarment complaint against Mosby adding several different counts of deliberately lying to the public about why the cases against the remaining officers were dropped.

Prof. Banzhaf notes that the prosecutions of the remaining police officers in the Freddie Gray cases were discontinued shortly after he threatened to file similar disbarment complaints against the new prosecutors assigned to try the remaining cases. The prosecutors then refused to proceed with the prosecutions.

Violation Of The State's Election Law

Banzhaf's third complaint charged her with violation of the state's election law (based on photographic evidence), tampering with evidence of that violation, misrepresenting the truth with "actual malice" (based upon a judge's determination), and that she "caused false and misleading evidence [to be provided] to the grand jury" investigating the death of Freddie Gray, notes Banzhaf.

The Commission's apparent inaction is particularly distressing for two reasons, says Banzhaf.

First, as a prosecutor, she is in a position to continue to do tremendous harm to defendants before her as she did to the police offices, something not true about most lawyers charged with wrongdoing.

Second, many of the charges are matters of record based upon judicial findings, so any excuse that even more investigation must occur before any meaningful action can be taken just isn't valid, he says.

So, although this new criminal indictment seems to have nothing to do with her many questionable if not illegal actions as a prosecutor, she may finally have to spend some time behind bars.

Indeed, it may eventually resemble what happened to Al Capone who went to prison not for the many violent crimes he committed, but for something completely unrelated - tax evasion - suggests the law professor.

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John F. Banzhaf is an American public interest lawyer, legal activist and law professor at George Washington University Law School. He is the founder of an antismoking advocacy group, Action on Smoking and Health.
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