Maryland high court orders “Freddie Gray cop” to testify against colleagues

· March 8, 2016  
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Officer William Porter, center, one of six Baltimore city police officers charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray, leaves the Maryland Court of Appeals on Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Annapolis, Md. Maryland Court of Appeals heard the oral arguments in five cases related to the arrest and death of Freddie Gray. Jose Luis Magana | AP Photo

Apparently, the Fifth Amendment doesn’t apply in states like Maryland where the radical left controls the judiciary.  Today, Maryland’s highest court ordered Officer William Porter to testify against his fellow cops in the Freddie Gray case even though it will likely taint the outcome of his own ongoing trial.

CNN has the background on this case:

Maryland’s Court of Appeals made the decision in two separate rulings. The first, related to the trials of Sgt. Alicia White and Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., denied an appeal by the defense. The second — pertaining to Officer Garrett Miller, Officer Edward Nero and Lt. Brian Rice — reversed a lower-court decision that prevented Porter from testifying in those officers’ trials.

The trials of all five of these officers charged in Gray’s death had been on hold until now.

In February, another decision out of Maryland courts immediately halted jury selection in the trial of Nero, who is charged with second-degree intentional assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

Porter himself has already gone on trial, but it ended in a mistrial in December.

To be clear, the prosecution could always offer Porter immunity from prosecution in return for testifying against his fellow cops.  But that is not what happened:

Tuesday’s rulings does not mean Porter is now absolutely immune in the sense that he won’t stand trial again. To the contrary, he is scheduled to face a second trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment starting June 13, though the date could change.

But, according to the portion of Maryland law cited in Tuesday’s brief court decisions, nothing Porter says on the stand in the trials of White, Goodson, Miller, Nero or Rice can “directly or indirectly … be used against” him in his own case. He could be charged with perjury, obstruction of justice or failure to comply with the order, though.

Tell that to the jury!  Close your ears, members of the jury, don’t listen to anything in Porter’s testimony.

That is essentially what the Maryland Court of Appeals has said.  The notion that they could coerce a man to testify without granting him immunity from prosecution is unprecedented and is a flagrant violation of the Constitution.  As I noted earlier this year, this trial has been fraught with constitutional violations across the board.  Additionally, the Justice Department has already threatened to file separate charges on a federal level, especially if the cops are acquitted at the state level.  The promise of Maryland trial judge not to use Porter’s testimony against him is worthless if this goes to federal court.

Justice is supposed to be blind to politics.  Sadly, our contemporary court system is governed exclusively by politics.


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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.