New Bernstein ad targets one-witness cases
Baltimore State's Attorney hopeful Gregg Bernstein's latest commercial features the mother of slain Cherry Hill resident Angelo Dangerfield, who was fatally shot in November 2009 while walking his dog. Dangerfield had been a youth leader in his neighborhood, and worked for the city housing agency. Police arrested two men in his case, but prosecutors dropped the charges five weeks later. A spokeswoman told the CityPaper "This is a single-eyewitness case, and post-arrest investigation has been unable to develop sufficient corroboration to enable us to proceed at this time.”
The ad features Dangerfield's mother, Doris, lamenting that prosecutors dropped the case. "If they thought these were the ones who shot my son, why let them go? Someone is getting away with murdering my son," she says.
The policy of refusing cases with only one witness is an unofficial one, and one veteran homicide investigator told me that there are exceptions. But City State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy didn't argue when a shooting detective asked her about it at a recent forum. "It doesn't do anybody any good to take cases to trial without sufficient evidence, because then they can never be tried again," Jessamy said at the event. Police contend that in many cases, a crime is witnessed by only one person and therefore additional witnesses may not exist.
As for the quote featured in the commercial about "violent predators" that is attributed to The Baltimore Sun,
I can't find any such statement appearing in the 7/29 or 7/30 edition. that's a paraphrase of a Ron Smith op-ed.
We're told that Jessamy has filmed some commercials, though the campaign has not responded to a question about when those will begin airing. We'll post them here as well when they are unveiled.