I’ve been rabbiting on about the need for cities plagued by “gun violence” (i.e. gang bangers banging) to stop the revolutions of their revolving door justice systems. At the same time, I’ve warned readers about the new Baltimore law that would impose a mandatory minimum for simple gun possession. Well, wbaltv.com reports that a judge has taken it upon himself to take that one step further . . .

The man (above) was arrested on Saturday with two other people in a car in Highlandtown. A patrol officer stopped the car after saying he saw and smelled someone smoking marijuana.

“They pull the car over. My client is in the back seat,” said Tony Garcia, defense attorney for the 18-year-old man.

Police searched the car and found a .22-caliber handgun with six live cartridges under the front passenger seat. Nothing illegal was found on his person, police said.

But because he was in the car, the man was charged with two counts of illegal gun possession . . .

At a bail hearing Monday, [defense attorney] Garcia argued that the 18-year-old man has no criminal record and no reason not be released on $10,000 bail. But prosecutors argued for no bail to be set, and Judge Joan Gordon [no picture found] agreed, invoking the city’s crime rate in keeping the man in custody.

“We are in a situation where our murder rate is, last time I looked over the weekend, it was 187, and the violence in our community now with guns, the risk to public safety is so extreme that I am going to keep bail the same,” Gordon said.

Talk about judicial activism; denying an American his right to bail is deeply unconstitutional. It goes against our basic principle of innocent until proven guilty. [Note: no marijuana was found in the car.]

Don’t get to thinking that Judge Gordon is alone in this affront to the Eight Amendment either. Regular readers may remember the case of MIT student Angel De La Cruz, another American with a clear record jailed for simple gun possession, under a Massachusetts law passed in 2010.

Baltimore is considering a one-year mandatory minimum jail sentence for anyone convicted of simple gun possession. That’s wrong on a lot of levels. But in cities where the Constitution is used as a doormat, politics trumps liberty. Like this:

Critics of the proposed gun bill argue it will disproportionately affect young men of color. Multiple sources told the 11 News I-Team that a deal is under discussion to increase funding for the Safe Streets program in Baltimore to win more City Council votes for the gun bill.

Prediction: the new bill won’t curb Baltimore’s “gun violence” one  bit. And even if it did, it’s not worth it.

53 Responses to Baltimore Judge Denies Bail for Simple Gun Possession

  1. The ONLY thing that will curb Baltimore’s “gun violence” problem is when the good people forced to live in that hell-hole have the ability to exercise their right to keep and bear arms returned to them and start shooting back at the little gang-banging bastards.

    “… manners are good when you may have to back up your actions with your life…” Robert A. Heinlein, “Beyond This Horizon”

    • “No problem is so big or so complicated that it can’t be run away from!”
      Charles M. Schulz

      Time for people to move

      • Might I ask, just where is everyone going to move to if everyone moves out of those states where there are laws and judges like this one? Will 320 million people fit in one state without the state sinking into the earth?

        • “Will 320 million people fit in one state without the state sinking into the earth?”

          Guam hasn’t capsized. So, maybe….

        • We probably don’t have to worry about the state sinking into the Earth. But if that state was an island, it could capsize:

      • As stated above ^^^ , ‘it is’ just that simple, MOVE!

        Generally speaking, barring the mentally/physically handicapped, should a resident remain in any state/region that repeatedly restricts their documented legal rights, and that resident continues to complain, it would seem they are doing a darn good impersonation of sheep. Waiting/Wanting someone else ‘to do for’ and take care of them.

        Someone please correct the above assumption/conclusion if they are the slightest bit incorrect.

        • Once all of the non-criminal gun owners move out then there will only be the bangers and libs. should solve several problems.

  2. Well, if he is a gang member he’ll probably get off due to his constitutional rights being denied. Did they even bother telling him his Miranda rights?

    • You don’t get Mirandized until after you are arrested. Most people do all their confessing before they get arrested.

  3. See, this kind of nonsense is why I wand anyone before I give them a ride.

    If they are not legally carrying, they walk.

    Don’t worry: I’ve deleted all the blue states from my GPS.

  4. Real nice. Some dumb mistakes were made by the accused, and a really dumb one was made by the judge.

  5. Pulling alot of .22s off gang bangers in Baltimore? Not saying he isn’t one, but color me doubtful.

    18 years old without any priors, not illegal “goodies’ in the the car aside from a .22 under the seat of a car that was not his?

    Seems like Baltimore is screwed up without sign of getting better.

  6. I am not a lawyer, and I do not play one on TV. I did not even stay in the Holiday Inn Express last night. Was everyone in the vehicle charged with possession of the firearm? Maybe this is aplying too much logic to the legal system but I don’t see how multiple people can possess one object. Additionally the probable cause for the initial stop was the sight and scent of marijuana. From a moving vehicle in a separate vehicle? This sounds like the officer was scraping the bottom of the bag to find a cause to pull them over. It also sounds like The case should be thrown out because the probable cause was not sustained. doesn’t that make everything resulting from the initial stop fruit of the poisoned tree? and the individual that was charged was a passenger in the vehicle not the owner of the vehicle. It seems like if anyone should have been charged it would be the owner not the passenger. I know as a general rule I don’t search the vehicles of the people that I’m catching a ride with. it seems to me that by this logic if my Uber driver Or taxi got pulled over and something was found in the vehicle I could be charged with possession, accomplice whatever.

    • You’re correct on all counts. It’s also irrelevant, because liberals hate the concept of law, unless we’re talking about laws they like. Thus, there’s nothing they love more than judges who legislate from the bench, particularly by ignoring such petty impediments to progress as “the Bill of Rights” or “due process”. Of course, it’s well documented that violence increases when people don’t trust the rule of law, and the lefts weaponization of the courts (arguably their single most dangerous tactic) has done more to further that than anything else. Ergo, liberalism = more violence. They’re all liars and hypocrites

    • I didn’t see any drug charges so correct, reads like an entrapment technique. Baltimore I believe uses vehicle cameras tied in to data bases that can tell a lot about the vehicles owner, I could be wrong. There was a Florida man pull over on a B.S. problem few years ago by the Port Authority. He had a Florida carry permit, but left it behind. End result, the PA tore everything out of the car (including seats) looking for a firearm. That’s how they operate FWIU.

      • 1) You don’t what the legal term ‘entrapment’ means.

        2) You are deeply misrepresenting the example you’re talking about. The man in question was pulled over for speeding- like dozens of people every day on that stretch of road. When asked whether there were any drugs or guns in the vehicle- the same question asked to dozens of people every day because you never know who might say yes- his brilliant wife told the officer that she thought there was a gun in the glove compartment (because her husband usually carried one). That’s why the search occurred.

    • It’s very easy and completely legal to stop a vehicle for the smell of marijuana. Not difficult at all to tell which vehicle it’s coming from if traffic isn’t too heavy, particularly if the windows are open and it’s been smoked recently. It’s especially funny when you’re on the side of the road and a pickup truck comes around the corner and you see that everyone’s eyes suddenly go wide as paper-plates… and then you smell it as the truck goes by.

      Now, as it relates to the gun we’re talking constructive possession… sometimes a dodgy legal theory. Here’s the problem- someone obviously brought that gun in there. It may not belong to everyone, but it belongs to SOMEONE. Some magic gun fairy didn’t visit the vehicle just before everyone got in. So the law recognizes it to be a crime if, say, you’re in a car full of weed that is so obvious that you had to KNOW it was there and be able to exercise some control over it. Otherwise there could be a big bag of crack sitting in the middle of the car and everyone could just say ‘Oh, I have no idea where that came from!’ and get off. So if the gun is closest to you, and there’s no evidence showing it belonging to someone else (i.e. the owner of the car, who will probably deny it), you can be arrested under the standard of probable cause.

      Is it enough to sustain a conviction? Well, maybe not, as that requires ‘proof beyond a reasonable doubt.’ But in between being arrested and tried the prosecutor may be able to obtain more evidence including fingerprints, trace evidence, etc. that tie you more definitively.

      Of course during this time you’ll be rotting in jail if you can’t get bail, so that’s a problem.

      • Hannibal – I suspect that you and I have something in common, i.e., that we are or were a LEO. You’re just too knowledgeable not to be or have been. I’m also going to surmise that you would have handled this stop the same way I would have. Once the firearm was found, you ask each of the individuals in the car if he’s the owner of it and if someone literally “owns up to it”, he gets locked up and everybody else walks on the gun charge. Of course, we don’t know for certain if that’s what occurred in this case but I’ve a hunch that’s what went down. If the lawyer for that poor doofus in the back seat can’t convince a judge and/or jury that (as they talk in B’more) his client had “no ideer” there was a gun in the car, that kid will get screwed under the ‘constructive possession” doctrine. I hope that somebody will “man up” before the trial and the State’s Attorney dismisses the charges if someone does.

        • I’m confused on what the crime is here…Why would you arrest the owner of the gun? Is owning a gun now illegal in Maryland?

        • Rob – Owning a gun is not illegal in Maryland – though you now have to jump through a bunch of hoops to purchase one due to the “Firearm Safety Act of 2013” passed in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary atrocity. Carrying that firearm without a CCW permit is an entirely different matter. A cop catching you with a firearm outside of the finely delineated parameters in Maryland will get you locked up every time, having one loaded in a vehicle being outside the law.

      • “Some magic gun fairy didn’t visit the vehicle just before everyone got in.” Maybe not, but beware the bullet fairy. The bullet fairy WILL put bullets in your unloaded gun.

        • Only faerie I ever had to deal with was the string faerie. That little dirtbag added stray strings to everyone’s uniforms while they slept.

        • Well ya know, there is the case from just this week of the cop getting caught ON HIS OWN BODY CAMERA of himself planting drugs at a scene because he apparently forgot about the 1 minute loop on the camera.

          Cops do plant evidence and misrepresent the truth to further their own agenda, never forget this.

        • Snatchums – There’s some question as to the officer’s motivation for staging the “re-enactment”. The background story is that the cops saw a drug deal go down, arrested the buyer after he left the scene, and then snatched up the dealer, who told them where his “stash” was in a pile of trash. Indeed, it was. The officers foolishly thought that it would look better if the “discovery” of the drugs was videoed and that’s when they staged the “re-enactment” to give their case more credibility. Of course, it was a stupid thing to do and ended up having the opposite of the intended effect. The charges against the drug dealer were dropped by the prosecutors and he walked. The officer will likely lose his job, and probably the other two officers who went along with the scheme as well. He had a good case and should have left good enough alone.

        • Cops do stupid stuff like that all the time. I’ve read so many police reports where cops lie about insignificant details for no apparent reason. And it’s not details that they could have just gotten wrong.

          All cops are people, and most people are stupid. I’d assume most cops are stupid.

        • You’re telling me! Why, I actually am personally acquainted with several who earned LAW DEGREES in their off-time. Can you beat that?

        • I never knew lawyers could be so dumb. Then I went to law school.

          What gets me is the idiots with advanced degrees in hard sciences. How they managed that is still a mystery to me.

        • Mike – that goes right into my statement of them misrepresenting the truth for their own agenda

        • Snatchums – I’m going to give the cop the benefit of the doubt that “his own agenda” was getting a drug dealer off the street. If so, it was yet another case where a LEO had his heart in the right place but his head was squarely up his ass. When I was a police supervisor, this would have been another one of those “counseling sessions” which began with my saying, “Just what in the pluperfect Hell were you THINKING??!!!”

  7. Remember: Come election time ask every candidate for judge if they own a gun and if they have a CCP. They can’t anwser political questions (at least not in Florida) but a judge who carries is someone you want in a courtroom to smack down anti-2A prosecutors.

    • If that’s an accurate reflection of the law, then a very similar law has been struck down as unconstitutional.

        • I don’t even remember the state that had the law. The case was about someone running for a seat as a state Supreme Court judge. There was some law about not doing something political in campaign adds. He did. The state election commission went after him. The courts ruled that the law was a direct violation of the core of the 1A and the state’s interest in maintaining respect for the judiciary was not a good enough reason to violate the judge’s 1A right.

          As a side note, that is pretty much what all the various levels of scrutiny boil down to. Is the government’s reasons for violating citizens’ rights a good enough reason? There are some curlicues about if there are better ways of achieving that interest.

  8. And this is from the city where the police already have a record of Planting Drugs on suspects or innocent people to obtain an arrest! The whole damn story is a lie by the police and the judge to obtain an arrest. I sincerely hope he gets a real hungry lawyer that will clean house with that scumbag judge and the officer. And then take the city for nothing less than $100 million!

  9. Time to dispense some indiscriminate justice… this is equivalent to an elderly nun in a wheelchair getting groped by the TSA. Law enforcement theater on display from the fake marijuana to the denied bail for someone with no criminal record. This is the end result of fake tolerance, everyone treated like the worst sort of criminal. Decent folks in Baltimore, this is your signal to GTFO.

  10. Here we go again. Another instance of “the system” mistreating a citizen, knowing there will be no adverse outcome for “the system” when the citizen is vindicated. The whole point of these incidents is to make a point; “Tag, you’re it. If you object, hock everything you’ve got, to prove me wrong.”

  11. Well duh…don’t have a gun. I don’t get no bail. Get tough approach-unless you need “room to destroy”. 18 and Spanish? Too bad you ain’t browner…

  12. What 3rd world ethnic group are we scapegoating this time, to explain the constitutional complacency in Maryland? Not Hispanics, we already used them earlier in the California thread, you may recall.

    It’s rhetorically satisfying to characterize the Constitution as a doormat, as an Etch A Sketch, as toilet paper, or whatever else, when we wish to ridicule haughty judges and politicians in these states. However, whatever comparison we use to make our point, the fact remains that the Constitution is, like those other items, just an item, too.

    It’s an inanimate object. It lacks all capacity for self-actuation, including self-correction and self-policing as much as self-preservation. Without an active, informed, engaged electorate, the Constitution is worthless and helpless. Protect our rights? It cannot even protect itself!

    The people of this country are committing slow motion national suicide by way of their refusal to fuel the republic with the attention and devotion to its maintenance that it requires. Activist judges, overreaching politicians, and even hordes of opportunistic, illegal aliens are all just symptoms of that collective sickness, not its cause.

      • Yup even Mark Levin, who is a hardcore constitutional fundamentalist, has conceded we are living in a post-Constitutional era.

  13. So the police searched the vehicle after they “smelled” marijuana and didn’t actually find any (also, possession of 7 grams or less is not a criminal or civil offense in Maryland any longer). They did happen to find a handgun and 6 bullets.

    Was the weapon loaded? Because if it wasn’t, there are a number of exceptions to Maryland’s draconian handgun transport and possession law. Were any of them over 21 with a hunting license? “Gee officer, we were just going to go out and hunt some yotes. Perfectly legal this time of year, sir”.

    Also I wonder if police “found” the handgun after removing everyone from the car and turning their body cameras off. Just see the case of the body cam footage of a Baltimore police officer recently apparently planting drugs.

    Plenty of honest Baltimore cops, but plenty who are dirty as hell. PLENTY.

  14. Infuriating, depressing, and bone stupid.

    There’s a lot of crazy (Dem Left) here, but the winner has to be critics saying this law will “disproportionately affect young men of color.” That totally misses all the main points this presents but not only is it off the subject it is on-its-face stand alone looney.

    They say that like it’s a bad thing, while the obvious fact of the matter is that anything that would reduce crime in the city would have to do just that, because that’s where the crime is coming from! Any law that did that, even if it were so ridiculous as to amount to randomly plucking “young men of color” off the streets, would reduce crime, and any law, no matter how wise, that did not “disproportionately affect young men of color” would not.

    So we have a draconian unconstitutional law “intended” to reduce crime (more likely motivated by a simple anti-gun attitude, plus blaming the gun for the crime because PC demands the blame be misplaced), that won’t reduce crime (or certainly won’t without stripping the rights and reducing the safety of the innocent), being objected to on the grounds that it will reduce crime.

    And this lady judge thinks jailing a white man with a clean record for being in the back seat of a car with a .22 pistol under the front seat, a car stopped for no good reason, is called for because of the high crime rate in the city.

    Well, at least she didn’t “disproportionately affect young men of color.” Maybe things will get better in Baltimore now.

  15. To be completely fair, carrying a weapon for self defense is not a real crime. In many states, having a gun under the seat is not a crime. Who volunteers to drive around bad neighborhoods unarmed? I did not think so. Many people have the option to avoid the city. Some, not so much.

    I predict charges will be dropped. Go ahead, try to find a jury that in Baltimore that would convict someone of carrying a weapon in a dangerous neighborhood for self defense. I dare you.

    What we need to do is recognize the obvious: Fix the law and not prosecute people for non-crimes, like gun possession when there is not other underlying crime, and prosecute people for real crimes.

  16. “The officer smelled marijuana” is the latter day equivalent of “the suspect made a furtive movement.” Both are total bullshit and simply excuses for illegal searches.

    • Oh yeah, I’ve had it happen to me several times. I’ve had cops say to me “I can smell it, I know you have it on you and I’m going to search your vehicle” to which I simply reply “no you’re not” and I will keep that son of a bitch tied up for an hour while he tries to get a drug dog and makes it fake signal because there’s obviously nothing to be found anyway.

      I will do everything in my power to tie up and waste as much time as I can of as many cops as I can if they want to pull that bullshit with me. I’ve blown the equivalent of 10 man hours on a stop for rolling through a stop sign in a town of 800 people at 11pm because the maggot wanted to pull attitude with me.

      Fuck them

        • Marco – I just read that article and took note of something important which you left out of your comment, i.e., the SCOTUS decision said that a suspect cannot be detained to wait for a drug-sniffing dog “UNLESS THE POLICE HAVE PROBABLE CAUSE”. If the cops smell the odor of marijuana or if you exhibit indications of drug use, they CAN legally detain you to wait for the dog to come and check your vehicle but the detaining officer will have to articulate his probable cause for the detention in court.

        • “FYI, they can no longer detain you to wait to get a drug dog.”

          True, but……

          They can shoot you for resisting arrest if you attempt to leave. After that, they cop may be alive and well, but you are not. Even if the cop is convicted of unlawful detention, he/she is alive, and you are not. Even if the cop is convicted of murder, you are dead, and he/she is alive.

          You pays your money, and you takes your chances.

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