The next Freddie Gray trial is underway in Baltimore

Source: Hot Air | May 16, 2016 | Jazz Shaw

Last week in Baltimore, the next phase of the highly dubious Freddie Gray trials kicked off. You may recall that Marilyn Mosby’s first at bat last year was against Officer William Porter. That one ended in a mistrial, casting a bit of a pall over the entire lineup. This time she’s going after Officer Edward Nero and, if anything, her prospects are looking even worse. Andrew Branca at Legal Insurrection has a lengthy, detailed analysis of the opening days of the proceedings which is well worth a read in full. Here’s where he sets the stage and describes the key players.

The prosecution is being led by Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow, an attorney with relatively little criminal law experience. Schatzow previously led the failed prosecution of Officer William Porter in the first “Freddie Gray” trial earlier this year. (Porter’s trial ended in a hung jury, and prosecutors have announced they intend to re-try him.)

Nero is being represented by defense attorney Marc Zayon.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, Schatzow’s boss, appears to have no day-to-day role in the prosecution, although she was personally present in the court room’s spectator seats for the first day of trial yesterday.

The first important technical detail which Branca brings up is that Nero has opted for a bench trial, meaning that the case will be heard and decided by judge Barry Williams instead of a jury. This was no doubt a calculated move on the part of Nero’s defense. It was rather amazing that Porter managed to wind up with a hung jury to begin with, and the odds of getting an impartial panel this time around seems slim, particularly considering the toxic atmosphere toward the police which has been cultivated by outgoing Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. In this case, Nero is no doubt better off allowing the judge to make the call.

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