The highest court in the state of Maryland ordered Thursday that the trials for officers involved in the Freddie Gray case be delayed after agreeing to hear appeals from five of the six officers in the matter, reports The Baltimore Sun .
In a case already comprised of several moving parts, the order from the court halts the officers’ trial until March where it will decide if one of the officers will testify against the group. This effectively ends the trial of Officer Edward M. Nero, which was scheduled for a Monday jury selection.
The Washington Post adds in their report that the court will discuss the constitutional ramifications of Officer William G. Porter testifying against Sgt. Alicia D. White and Officer Ceasar Goodson Jr. The cases against Lt. Brian Rice and Officer Garrett Miller will also be discussed.
Officer Porter has already dodged one legal bullet after his first trial ended in a hung jury last December, but prosecutors want him to testify against Officer Goodson and Sgt. White ahead of his summer retrial. The state is promising Porter immunity and will not use witness statements in his retrial. Porter’s attorneys are pushing back, saying that forcing their client to testify violates his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and jeopardizes his chances of a fair hearing.
The state is promising Porter immunity and will not use potential witness statements in his retrial. Porter’s attorneys are pushing back, saying that forcing their client to testify violates his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and jeopardizes his chances of a fair hearing.
Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera outlined legal questions for court consideration regarding the appeals. One question, related to White and Goodson, ponders if the state’s promise of immunity extends far enough to give Porter protection against incriminating himself.
Judge Barbera ordered that the oral arguments in all five cases will be heard on March 3.
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun, Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform
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