Fiery 'This Would Delight Putin': Judge Nap Rips Mosby's Gag Order Request in Gray Case
Baltimore prosecutors are seeking a gag order as they pursue a criminal case against six city officers in the case of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died a week after suffering a spinal injury while in police custody.
AP reported over the weekend that State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby wants defense lawyers to be banned from discussing the case in order to keep public opinion from being influenced before the trial.
A gag order typically prevents attorneys and witnesses from publicly commenting on or releasing information about a particular case.
Mosby announced the charges, which range from second-degree misdemeanor assault to "depraved-heart" murder, in a lengthy news conference one day after receiving an investigative report from police. The May 1 announcement came after more than a week of protests that on two occasions gave way to rioting, prompting Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to implement a curfew and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to declare a state of emergency for the city.
Attorneys for five of the six officers have not spoken publicly about the case since charges were filed. Ivan Bates and Tony Garcia, who represent Sgt. Alicia White, gave a news conference Wednesday to defend White and criticize the prosecution.
"I can say emphatically when this trial is complete and all the evidence is laid bare, you'll see perhaps justice wasn't the only thing the state's attorney was attempting to accomplish here," Garcia said at the event, "and that perhaps you'll see that there's a fine line between fame and infamy."
The defense attorneys have filed numerous motions calling into question the basis for the charges, and whether Mosby is objective.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano reacted on "The Kelly File," saying if there is going to be a gag order, it needs to be applied to both sides.
Megyn Kelly pointed out that Mosby already stood in front of national TV cameras and went on for 21 minutes about the alleged crimes committed by the police officers.
Napolitano said Mosby basically wants a judge to "violate the First Amendment" by silencing those who want to criticize her actions.
"The concept that someone could be silenced is reprehensible and antithetical to the values of the First Amendment," said Napolitano.
He said at first, he wanted to give Mosby the benefit of the doubt because she had to make a very tough decision in the Gray case.
"But I am now beginning to think that she may be just a two-bit political hack who happens to have gotten elected as a prosecutor," said Napolitano, adding that it appears Mosby still has a politician's mindset.
"To suggest that the people she has prosecuted cannot criticize her and she can criticize them is something that would delight Vladimir Putin!" he said.
Napolitano said sometimes his decisions were reversed on appeal, but when he was on the bench in New Jersey he always denied requests for gag orders.
Watch the compelling discussion above.