Marilyn Mosby’s first loss in Baltimore is the culmination of 8 years of attacks and missteps [Baltimore Sun] – InsuranceNewsNet
In 2014, Baltimore residents, frustrated by violent crime, elected a 34-year-old insurance attorney who had never tried a homicide or rape case to be the city’s top prosecutor.
Eight years and more than 2,500 homicides later, the city’s Democratic voters have been ousted
Mosby’s campaign declined a request for an interview. In a statement, Mosby conceded and said she called Bates on Saturday morning to congratulate him.
“I am grateful to my family and my colleagues in the State’s Attorney’s Office for their commitment to our city and all of their hard work on behalf of the citizens of Baltimore,” Mosby said. “We have so much to be proud of and I am forever indebted to so many people for their love, support and partnership over the past eight years.”
His tenure was polarizing and will be remembered for his progressive police prosecution and prosecution policies as much as investigations into his conduct. There is a litany of reasons why individual voters chose not to nominate Mosby for a third term, but supporters and critics have pointed to his frayed relationships with other city and state agencies, an inability to reduce violent crime and perceived vindictiveness toward those who disagreed with her.
The fact that she is under federal indictment has also hurt her campaign, supporters said. Mosby was charged in January with two counts of perjury and mortgage fraud; she denied the allegations.
“I hope no official ever has to go through what Marilyn went through because there is so much a human being can go through before it starts to have a negative effect on your performance, your attitude” said William H. “Billy” Murphy, a prominent criminal defense attorney and Mosby supporter, of the criticism Mosby faced throughout his tenure.
“It all piled up,” he said.
Early in her tenure as state’s attorney, Mosby ran into the
His prosecution policies, in particular a decision to stop prosecuting for simple drug possession, prostitution and trespassing, have been praised by progressive pundits and lambasted by the city’s business community and the FOP. The prosecution of petty offenses disproportionately impacts poor and black people, and Mosby has sought to address systemic inequalities in the criminal justice system.
“The white community hasn’t supported Marilyn, for the most part, since her tenure began,” Murphy said.
Some took issue less with the substance of the policy change than the way it was rolled out. Former prosecutors said
Her victory in the 2014 primaries, a shocking upheaval for the incumbent
“When you live
But homicides have skyrocketed under his tenure. In 2014, Bernstein’s last full year in office,
And as the killings continued, Mosby’s office deteriorated. As of 2018, more than 200 prosecutors worked there, according to city payroll records. In June, the staff numbered less than 140 prosecutors. His administration cited the COVID-19 pandemic and wages as reasons people left. In contrast, former lawyers have said
Like Mosby in 2014, Bates and
But Mosby supporters are skeptical of a prosecutor’s ability to drive down murder rates.
“A lot of criticism of a prosecutor is unfair because prosecutors can’t prosecute if the police don’t do the business,” Murphy said.
“If the police are on the job, and there’s plenty of evidence of that because arrests are down, what are they going to do now?” Murphy said. “Are they going to start making arrests because we have a new prosecutor? I hope they will.
The department remains under a federal consent decree established in 2017 after a
Mosby campaign supporter and defense attorney
“When things don’t change, you have to throw that anger somewhere,” Brown said.
The federal case against her has cast a shadow of uncertainty over her campaign, limiting her ability to raise funds and enlist support from her usual base, supporters said.
Prosecutors, in court documents, say Mosby lied about his financial situation to make early withdrawals from his retirement account to buy two
“It reduced publicity,” Brown said. “You had a lot of people who were hesitant to come out and express their support because they don’t want to be in the crosshairs of the federal government. Add to that the bad feelings about her husband’s power dynamics as president of the
Bates and Vignarajah, a former prosecutor, significantly outperformed Mosby throughout the election.
What Mosby had was an ability to relate to everyday black Baltimoreans in communities most affected by gun violence. She regularly made overtures to members of these communities at press conferences, community meetings and on social media, promising to fight for them.
“Having someone like
Mosby remains popular on social media and receives regular messages of support from his followers.
“She’s so good at making you think she’s a figure you can relate to,” Davis said. “She’s a masterful politician, I just don’t think she’s a very good prosecutor.”
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