The loss of a superhero

Judge Ann Brobst became a model for the type of lawyer and person that I strived to be.


  1. What a wonderful tribute to a truly great lady . . .she was the best! She will be truly missed.

  2. As much as I hate to rain on someone’s hagiography of the late Judge, one should note that she withheld exculpatory evidence in a death penalty case. She may have made a difference in the writer’s life, but she definitely made a difference in Kirk Bloodsworth’s life.

  3. Thanks for the comment, Mark. There was an article in the Sun about this case in 2009, wherein Judge Brobst commented on her role in that case: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2009-12-07/news/bal-rodricksonlinedec07_1_bloodsworth-case-mr-bloodsworth-dna-testing. It’s definitely worth a read:

    …Ms. Brobst went to the Eastern Shore with two county detectives, met Mr. Bloodsworth at a fast-food restaurant in Cambridge, told him the news of the real killer’s arrest and apologized for her role in his wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

    That was the first time anyone from the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office, which had twice prosecuted Mr. Bloodsworth, acknowledged his innocence.

    Monday, Ms. Brobst said the encounter in 2004 with Mr. Bloodsworth and the apology were her idea. She also said she had a role in the push for post-conviction DNA testing of evidence in the case, despite being pressured not to.

    A lot of people familiar with Ms. Brobst’s work would say that, on balance, she has done far more good than bad over 30 years in the courts — so the focus on Mr. Bloodsworth is unfair.

    Monday, she spoke candidly about the case and about being identified in the press as “the Bloodsworth prosecutor.” She accepts that, despite having smartly prosecuted so many other criminals who deserved to go to prison, Mr. Bloodsworth seems to be the case that sticks to her — at least it did last week in reports of her appointment to the bench.

    “Obviously, what happened to him should not have happened to anybody,” Ms. Brobst said. “It’s something I think about every day — I mean that, every day. It certainly changed me … It shook me.”

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