The Cops’ Prison Sentences For Freddie Gray’s Death Could Be Very, Very Long

What'll surely be one of the highest-profile legal proceedings in recent memory was set in motion Friday, as the six Baltimore police officers involved in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray were criminally charged. They range from second-degree deprave heart murder on the harshest end, to second-degree assault on the lighter. Basically, if you're wondering what sentences the Freddie Gray officers will face, this much is clear: each and every one of them faces potential years in prison for their alleged roles in his death.

While different people will surely react differently, this is a development which you have to imagine countless protesters, within Baltimore and beyond, didn't see coming. You couldn't blame them for a certain wariness, at least — not even the Eric Garner video was sufficient to move a grand jury to indict, and that's not out of the norm.

But the decision to move forward with charges wasn't left to a grand jury in this case, and that's a pretty clear sign that district attorney Marilyn Mosby intends to mount an aggressive prosecution (as compared to, say, what the record suggests about the Darren Wilson grand jury in St. Louis). Here's the rundown of the prison terms that the Freddie Gray six are facing, as detailed in a release from Mosby's office.

  • Officer Caesar Goodson faces a top count of second-degree depraved heart murder, which carries a sentence of 30 years. When combined with potential sentencing his lesser counts, he could face up to 63 years in prison.
  • Officer William Porter faces one involuntary manslaughter charge, and one second-degree assault charge, each carrying a sentence of ten years — so, 20 years in total.
  • Officer Brian Rice faces an involuntary manslaughter charge and two second-degree assault charges, each carrying a ten-year sentence, making 30 years in all.
  • Officer Edward Nero was charged with two counts of second-degree assault, totalling a possible 20-year sentence.
  • Officer Garrett Miller faces the same slate of charges as Nero — two second-degree assault counts, totalling 20 years.
  • Officer Alicia White faces one charge of involuntary manslaughter, and one charge of second-degree assault, totalling 20 years.

It's possible that the time could increase even further, thanks the to slew of additional misconduct charges against the officers — they don't have specific sentencing guidelines listed, however, beyond the stipulation that it not violate the 8th Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

In a letter to Mosby, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 President Gene Ryan maintained that none of the six officers bore any responsibility for Gray's "tragic" death.

Not one of the officers involved in this tragic situation left home in the morning with the anticipation that someone with whom they interacted would not go home that night. As tragic as this situation is, none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray.