Appellate Documents of Officers Charged in Freddie Gray Death Published Online
By Michael Wein
In the past two weeks, some of the officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray have sought appellate and injunctive relief. Before officer Caesar Goodson was to go on trial last week, fellow officer William Porter, a potential witness in that case, challenged the trial court’s decision to — despite his own pending retrial after a hung jury — admit his testimony from that trial with use and derivative-use immunity in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kastigar v. United States, 406 U.S. 441 (1972). See also United States v. Oliver North, 910 F.2d 843 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (requiring full Kastigar hearing on use of non-immunized testimony and possible taint thereof). On January 12, Porter, proposing an expedited appellate schedule, had his request granted by the Court of Special Appeals, with abbreviated briefing and oral arguments in March.
In the past week, the Court of Special Appeals began, through the “Media Resources” page on the Maryland Judiciary website, publishing online the documents from the appeal. While the Maryland Court of Appeals has more regularly published documents online from particular “Highlighted Cases” (the most recent being Kulbicki v. State of Maryland, Sept. Term 2013, No. 13), the Court of Special Appeals appears to have done that only once before, in Syed v. State, the case made famous by the “Serial” podcast. While the original press release link on the Syed case is still available, it seems that the online links to the Syed documents have now been replaced by links to the Goodson documents. Now that the Goodson case has been stayed by the Court of Special Appeals pending a decision on the Kastigar-related issues, should the parties choose to seek and receive certiorari in the Court of Appeals, the links would presumably be put on the Highlighted Cases page.
[Editor’s note: Blog editor-in-chief Steve Klepper had no role whatsoever in the review, editing, or posting of this piece, or the decision to publish it.]