2018 Primary election results

Marilyn J. Mosby

Marilyn J. Mosby
  • Democrat
  • Age: 38
  • Residence: Reservoir Hill, Baltimore

About Marilyn J. Mosby

Education

Tuskegee University, 2002 Political Science Magna Cum Laude Boston College Law School, 2005 Juris Doctorate

Background

Office of the State Attorney/F.I.V.E. Unit Baltimore, MD Law Clerk 2005-2006

Office of the State Attorney Early Resolution Court Supervisor Assistant State’s Attorney Supervisor Baltimore, MD 2007 - 2008

Office of the State Attorney General Felony Division Assistant State’s Attorney Baltimore, MD 2009-2011

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company/ Law Office of Jonathan P. Stebenne Field Counsel- (Special Investigation Unit) Baltimore, MD 2011-2014

Office of the State’s Attorney State’s Attorney Baltimore, MD 2015- Present

Questionnaire

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1
Nolle prosse
What specifically will you do as state's attorney to minimize the number of cases that are nolle prossed?
Mosby: After taking office, I quickly determined that the process used to document and track the reasoning behind STET and NP cases was insufficient and inconsistent throughout the office. We instituted an updated case tracking form and review process to ensure office wide alignment of case information and rationales for STET/NP outcomes. Our assessment revealed that lack of witness cooperation accounted for almost one third of case dismissals. I have always said that the criminal justice system is dependent on citizen participation, understanding and recognizing that when public trust diminishes, many individuals elect not to come forward. I directed my front office to establish a targeted focus on bettering and augmenting victim and witness services. We understand Baltimore City’s troubled past related to “stop snitching” and “witness intimidation” culture and the data we collected proved that theory and the need to do more. In three years, we have completely restructured and doubled the size of the Victim-Witness Unit, secured a five-year, $2.4 million federal grant to enhance outreach and supportive services, established a public-private partnership to completely renovate a courthouse space dedicated specifically to victims and witnesses, and successfully lobbied to more than double (115% increase) witness relocation funding. Also, we are working closely with the Police Department on a training program for officers both in the field and at the academy to ensure they can properly use body worn cameras and correctly file probable cause reports that build the strongest possible cases.
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2
Police trust
Given your professional experience, do you trust the Baltimore Police Department?
Mosby: Yes. I work with embedded BPD in my office every day and I come from four generations of police officers, and I personally understand the sacrifice that officers make every day to protect and serve our communities. We all are aware of the unfortunate series of events in the past three years that have created serious challenges related to trust between our communities and the Baltimore Police Department. From the untimely death of Freddie Gray, to the Department of Justice’s report on Baltimore Police patterns and practices, to body worn camera credibility concerns, and now the recent convictions for racketeering and corruption of several officers, a tremendous amount of concern, fear, and distrust are present in our city. I pledge to work closely with Commissioner DeSousa and the City Solicitor to address these problems, so the citizens of the City of Baltimore can restore trust in the Police Department and the criminal justice system as a whole. My relationship with the BPD is not contradictory to my belief that we need significant reform of the criminal justice system. I will always look for ways to strengthen our necessary relationship with our law enforcement partners and improve the criminal justice process. I will also continue to advocate for reform measures to ensure a more accountable, transparent, and citizen involved system is in place to establish oversight and continue to root out corruption. In 2016, I announced a criminal reform package which included an independent investigatory body similar to Prince Georges County.
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3
Gray prosecutions
How do you evaluate the charging and prosecution of the officers involved in Freddie Gray's arrest?
Mosby: I stand by my decision to charge the six officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, Jr. I believe in one standard of justice regardless of one’s sex, race, zip code or occupation; and still agree with the grand jury and judge’s ruling that there was adequate probable cause to charge those individuals with the crimes alleged. As a result of filing those charges, the criminal justice system in Baltimore has changed in significant ways. The Department of Justice reached a consent decree with the city requiring all officers to have body worn cameras, and other major changes in the policies and procedures of the Baltimore Police Department. These reforms include: full implementation of body worn cameras on all officers; officers are now required to secure and seat belt all prisoners; cameras are now equipped in every police transport van; it is now mandatory for officers to call a medic when a suspect requests medical attention. Also, there is now a software verification and accountability system in place to ensure adherence of all departmental policies, general orders and/or procedures. Most importantly, there are now “use of force” policies that emphasize the sanctity of life, accentuates de-escalation, and requires that officers intervene if fellow officers cross the line. These significant changes, locally and nationally, are the legacy of Freddie Gray Jr., and I’m proud to be associated with that legacy.
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4
Prosecutor retention
What would you do to attract and retain experienced prosecutors?
Mosby: Our prosecutors are the brightest, most dedicated and highly effective attorneys in the country, who prosecute over 40,000 cases per year and maintain a 92% felony conviction rate. My leadership team and I motivate our attorneys with opportunities to try some of the most complex criminal cases in the nation while reiterating their power of discretion and accountability to public safety for the City they serve. Our philosophy is to recruit mission-minded prosecutors who share our commitment to justice over convictions and desire to make a difference in Baltimore City. We recruit attorneys who seek to hold violent, repeat offenders accountable, and build a better Baltimore by addressing the root causes of crime rather than merely seeking prison sentences. Our prosecutors have a wealth of experience, totaling nearly 1,800 combined years of service. We must continue to grow our ranks by aggressively recruiting prosecutors from the illustrious law schools within the Baltimore region and throughout the country with an emphasis on increasing the diversity and cultural competency of our office. The number of Assistant State’s Attorneys who are women and people of color has increased significantly during my tenure, which is an important measure as we groom the next wave of professional prosecutors. In my office, 60% of my prosecutors are women. Of my hires, 56% are women; 31% are African American and 7% are Asian/Pacific Islander. We are making a concerted effort to recruit the best prosecutors, while being equally committed to the diversity of our prosecutors and staff.
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5
Officer do-not-call
Do you plan to maintain a "do not call" list of police officers who aren't reliable witnesses?
Mosby: The entire city of Baltimore and the many agencies committed to public safety share responsibility for addressing systemic issues in our criminal justice system. Improving coordination between the Police Department, City Solicitor’s Office, State and city elected officials, and the State’s Attorney’s Office is critical. We have worked carefully together to form a new policy which requires Baltimore City police officers to disclose—with or without a specific request by the Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA) handling a case in which the officer is an integral witness—if an Internal Affairs (IA) file exists that charges him or her with any past or present misconduct. Officers will have to relay this information to the ASA at the earliest opportunity, whether or not the misconduct issues have been resolved. Additionally, the City Solicitor’s Office will be required to promptly review and send to the State’s Attorney’s Office any requests for IA records within 48 hours of receipt. My office has also expanded the list of allegations which we disclose to defense attorneys including excessive force allegations, unlawful search and seizures, planted evidence, and other egregious complaints in the interest of transparency and to ensure our cases are conducted completely beyond reproach. This is consistent with our mission to pursue justice over convictions and to prosecute cases in a manner consistent with the highest ethical standards. Lastly, we are one of a handful of offices in the country to publicly post detailed incident reports when we decide not to charge officers involved shootings.
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6
Repeat offenders
What will your approach be to dealing with violent repeat offenders, and how will that differ from previous efforts?

Mosby: After assessing the efforts of previous administrations and scouring through nationwide best practices, I elected to implement data driven and innovative strategies to address the violent repeat offenders wreaking havoc on Baltimore communities.

We developed the Crimes Strategies Unit (CSU), which compiles data and intelligence in an effort to build strong cases against some of the City’s most heinous criminals from charging to conviction. Through this unit, we have implemented an arrest alert notification system, which allows us to monitor those who have been identified by law enforcement as the worst of the worst.

To better target gun offenders, I also created the Gun Violence Enforcement Division, which is an investigative and prosecutorial unit made up of highly skilled prosecutors and Baltimore Police detectives who focus on gun offenders, rather than just gun crimes.

Additionally, understanding and recognizing that the drug trade fuels gun violence, I re-established the Narcotics Unit to combat our regions opioid crisis. This unit held a 98 percent conviction rate in 2017.

Under my administration we have convicted all 12 of the defendants designated Public Enemy #1 by the Baltimore Police Department since 2015 who have been brought to trial, resulting in six life sentences and more than 700 years in prison.

Using data driven approaches and ensuring close coordination between my office and the Police Department, including housing detectives in our unit offices, we are able to effectively prosecute violent repeat offenders and maintain a 92% felony conviction rate.

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7
Accountability
What will you do to ensure the public can accurately judge the effectiveness of city prosecutors in securing convictions?

Mosby: I’m proud of the prosecutors in my office who come to work every day to protect the people of our city. Our felony conviction rate is strong at 92% but I don’t believe this is an accurate measure of success in any prosecutorial office. Ultimately my office seeks to impact the root causes of crime in our city. That means engaging with our community with programs like Project 17 and Aim to B’more that help our young people by seeing them in classrooms and job sites instead of in courtrooms.

That also means restoring the trust of our communities in a criminal justice system that all too often has not been responsive to its own shortcomings and led to citizens being unwilling to step forward into the system as witnesses. Our office is not motivated by the statistics. We have a high conviction rate, but the modern prosecutor leads by pursuing justice, not running up empty stats. Ultimately, the true measure of success for any public servant in the criminal justice system is that the citizens of our city feel safe in their communities and in their homes. We will continue to earn the public’s confidence and trust by being wholly transparent with information, our processes by leveraging technology and data to give the public an unvarnished look into how we administer our office.

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8
Witness cooperation
What can the state's attorney do to overcome the reluctance of many witnesses in Baltimore to cooperate with police and prosecutors and to testify in court?
Mosby: Victim and Witness services has been a priority from the start of my administration and it is a major factor in restoring the community’s faith in the criminal justice system. Under my leadership and direction, we have doubled the size of our Victim/Witness Unit with the support of a record $2.4 million in grant funding and placed a veteran prosecutor in charge of ensuring the unit was carrying out its essential duties efficiently and effectively. This year the State’s Attorney’s Office secured an additional $360,000 per year of support for victim/witness relocation services from our advocacy in Annapolis. This money will enable us to protect our witnesses who fear returning to their communities after testifying and enable them to live with their families in safety. We also renovated our Victim/Witness waiting room in the courthouse with trauma evidence-based and technologically advanced design. Witnesses and victims often complained previously of needing to spend hours in the courthouse where they might run into defendants and their friends. This room was designed with therapeutic touches recommended by science and provides our victims and witnesses a measure of comfort during what can be a harrowing time. The SAO also launched community court watch – a web-based tool that allows citizens to track case information for crimes occurring in their neighborhoods. These initiatives are helping us get better cooperation from the community and we look to continue and expand our efforts on this front.
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9
Special skills
What do you bring to the table that Baltimore needs that the other candidates don't have?
Mosby: The privilege of serving the citizens of Baltimore City is the greatest honor of my life. With all due respect to my challengers, I am the only candidate who has served as State’s Attorney and during some of the most turbulent times in our City’s history, I have stood firm in my convictions and on the side of justice for all. I understand that we MUST continue to press for progressive reform in the criminal justice system and bridge the divide between the justice system and the communities it serves. Bridging that divide is why I chose to run for this office four years ago. My family lives in the heart of West Baltimore and I see first-hand what is possible when you believe in the capacity of our City and our neighbors to do great things. I want every community to feel like that. I am uniquely qualified to serve this City at this moment in our history. I am committed to the hard work of ushering in substantive reform and continuing to shift the trajectory of our City towards brighter days for each and every community. Building a criminal justice system that the people trust and want to participate in is the key to turning our city around and that is the work I do every day in office and hope to continue for the next four years.
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