The judge handling the federal criminal case against Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby threatened to sanction the defense team Friday because Mosby’s lawyers quoted confidential juror questionnaires in a court filing.
The filing quoted statements potential jurors made that showed bias against Mosby. Her lawyers included the statements as evidence that a gag order against the defense, which prosecutors requested two weeks ago, was not necessary.
U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby ordered the filing stricken from the court record and directed the defense to re-file the document without violating local court rules.
Griggsby also went further, requiring the defense to explain why they should not be penalized for publicizing the confidential juror information.
The defense filing referenced potential jurors’ numbers and quoted four juror questionnaires. One prospective juror wrote, ““I have already determined (Mosby’s) guilt. I have been following this case from the very start of the indictment,” according to the filing.
Another juror concluded an “otherwise revolting racist statement” with the comment that Mosby is “guilty as sin.” The defense also wrote that two-thirds of the potential jurors had heard of the case and nearly one-third had already formed an opinion about the case that would prevent them from serving on a jury.
The filing claimed these responses showed that out-of-court comments by the defense stood no chance of swaying jurors in favor of Mosby.
Prosecutors sought a gag order earlier this month in an effort to block defense lawyers from making statements to the media and the public that could taint the jury pool.
The request came one day after Mosby’s lead defense attorney, A. Scott Bolden, said on the courthouse steps that the government’s arguments are “bulls–t” and that state and federal employees and African American politicians like Mosby are at risk of being targeted for prosecution.
“These statements and others like it are likely to interfere with the ability to seat a fair and impartial jury in this case,” prosecutors wrote in their motion.
The prosecution’s motion for a gag order also referenced the juror questionnaires, but did not quote from them directly or use juror numbers.
The kerfuffle over the defense filing also hinted at a rift among Mosby’s attorneys. Not all of the members of her defense team signed the document that quoted from the juror questionnaires.
Bolden and several members of his legal team from Washington, D.C., firm Reed Smith signed the filing, but prominent defense lawyer Lucius Outlaw, who is also defending Mosby, did not. Nor did Gary Proctor, a Baltim0re-based defense attorney, or Kelley Miller, a lawyer with Reed Smith.