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Douglas Gansler has never been one to shy away from the media. And despite the D.C. Court of Appeals’ decision to censure the Montgomery County, Md., state’s attorney for public statements he made about murder cases his office handled, it appears his candor hasn’t waned. “I have a moral, ethical, and legal obligation to inform the public about the criminal justice system,” says Gansler, a former federal prosecutor in the District. “I was elected as the chief law enforcement officer in Montgomery County, and when a murderer is at large and we bring him in, it’s my belief that the public has a right to know.” The D.C. appellate court’s public censure of Gansler, who has a D.C. law license, on Dec. 15 came two years after the Court of Appeals for Maryland reprimanded him for the same comments, which Gansler made four years ago. The Maryland court determined the statements violated a rule that prohibits prosecutors from making comments that heighten the condemnation of the accused. Gansler agrees that such a rule is necessary to deter the abuse of pretrial publicity, but he says it’s a rule he’s never violated. Gansler defends what he said about those cases and insists he simply repeated information that already had been made public in charging documents. “I don’t even go close to the edge on pretrial publicity matters,” he says. “I never have and never would.”
Sarah Kelley can be contacted at [email protected].

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