People on the Move Marilyn Mosby

People on the Move Marilyn Mosby

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Marilyn Mosby (née James; born January 22, 1980) is an American attorney and politician who currently serves as the State's Attorney for Baltimore, Maryland, United States.[4][5]. She is currently the youngest chief prosecutor of any major American city.

Her grandfather was one of the first African-American police officers in Massachusetts.[6] She graduated from magna cum laude from Tuskegee University with a (B.A.) degree, she then earned a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School in 2005.

Early life

Mosby, born Marilyn James, was raised in Dorchester, Boston by her grandparents. Her mother, Linda Thompson, was 17 when Mosby was born.[7][8] Her mother and father were both police officers; her family traces its association with the police back over two generations.[5] She attended Dover-Sherborn High School, an hour away from her home as a result of the longest standing school desegregation program in country, METCO. She served in the Student Government Association, and was co-editor of the school newspaper.[8]

Her interest in practicing law was sparked by the murder of her 17-year-old cousin by another 17-year-old outside of her home, when her cousin was mistakenly identified as a drug dealer by his killer, and murdered.[5]

In 2000, when she was a 20-year-old Tuskegee University student, Mosby (then Marilyn James) appeared on the Judge Judy television show as a plaintiff, suing a roommate for damaging her property during summer break. She prevailed in the arbitration, and was awarded $1,700.[9]


Mosby served as Assistant State's Attorney for Baltimore from 2005 to 2012.[10] She became a litigator for Liberty Mutual Insurance in 2012.[11]

In 2013, she announced plans to run for State's Attorney for the city of Baltimore.[10] She ran against incumbent Gregg L. Bernstein in the Democratic primary.[10] In the Democratic primary, Mosby defeated Bernstein with 55 percent of the vote.[11] She faced no opposition in the general election.[12]

Mosby won the general election, receiving 94 percent of the vote, defeating Independent Russell A. Neverdon Sr., who staged a write-in campaign.[13][14] At the time of her election, Mosby was the youngest top prosecutor in a major US city.[15][16]

Mosby was sworn into office on January 8, 2015.[17] Soon after her first term in office had begun, Mosby announced restructuring of her office that was inspired by ideas from prosecutors' offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.[18]Deputy State's Attorney Janice Bledsoe was named to oversee the new division of "criminal intelligence."[18] Mosby reestablished community liaison positions, which her predecessor had eliminated, to inform residents of developments in cases relevant to their neighborhood. She created the Policy and Legislative Affairs Unit to advocate for legislation to help keep residents safe and prosecute cases efficiently.[18]

Mosby pushed unsuccessfully for bills that would have allowed prosecutors to introduce prior accusations against serial sex offenders during trial, an effort that she raised during her campaign.[19] In May 2015, she secured the conviction of Nelson Clifford, a sex-offender who was acquitted in four previous sexual assault cases involving a "consent" defense.[19] After the verdict she stated, "While we were able to secure a guilty verdict in this case, we must still encourage our legislators in Annapolis to bring our predatory sexual assault laws in line with the federal statute. Clifford was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison."[19]

Violent criminal prosecutions

Mosby campaigned on a promise to target and prosecute violent repeat offenders. Since her administration began in January 2015 she has successfully prosecuted a number of high-profile defendants including Darryl Anderson,[20]Capone Chase,[21] Nelson Clifford,[22] Mustafa Eraibi,[23] and Cornell Harvey.[24]

She created the Criminal Strategies Unit, modeled off a similar unit in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, to harness the power of the community to identify and target violent repeat offenders. The Unit utilizes technology, data-analysis, and intelligence-gathering in combination with close relationships with community organizations to identify trends in crime and works with law enforcement to target those who perpetuate these trends.[18]

In response to a 2015 spike in violent crime in Baltimore,[25] Mosby and newly appointed interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis announced that prosecutors and police officers would co-locate inside of a 24-hour “war room” in which law enforcement would target violent repeat offenders around the clock.[26]

Freddie Gray case

Main article: Death of Freddie Gray

In 2015, Mosby charged six police officers, who had arrested Freddie Gray prior to his death, with a variety of crimes including second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.[27][28] David Jaros, an associate professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, was reported as saying that Mosby quite possibly overcharged the officers, while noting this is absolutely typical in criminal cases involving defendants who are not police.[29]

Anonymous sources were reported by CNN as saying the Baltimore police's investigation does not support some of the charges brought against the officers. However, these sources are within the police department, and according to CNN, "Mosby has good reason to separate her probe from the police. There is widespread community distrust of the police. And many critics say letting police departments investigate themselves is partly why alleged excessive use of force incidents by officers rarely draw serious punishment."[30] Mosby defended the charges in a statement released through a spokesperson, and condemned the release of information as unethical.[30]

In a May 4, 2015, interview on Fox News, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz said that he believes Mosby overcharged the officers in an attempt to satisfy protesters and prevent further disturbances.[31] Former Baltimore Prosecutor Page Croyder penned an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun in which she described Mosby's charges as reflecting "either incompetence or an unethical recklessness". Croyder opined that Mosby circumvented normal procedures "to step into the national limelight", and that she "pandered to the public", creating an expectation of a conviction.[32]

On May 21, a grand jury indicted the officers on most of the original charges filed by Mosby, with the exception of the charges of illegal imprisonment and false arrest, and added charges of reckless endangerment to all the officers involved.[33] In May 2015, Mosby appeared onstage at concert with the musician Prince, after which she was criticized for using the Freddie Gray incident for personal and political gain.[34] The Baltimore Sun reported that Mosby received $12,000 in free travel to speak at events around the nation after the officers were charged.[35]

When asked to respond to the allegation from police that she does not support them, Mosby's called the notion 'absurd', citing her family's history working in law enforcement.[36] Mosby was criticized for ordering the increased police presence, in the same neighborhood that Gray was arrested, just weeks prior to the incident that occurred.[37]

The first trial of the police officers, William Porter, resulted in a hung jury, and the judge declared a mistrial in December 2015.[38] The Baltimore Sun reported that Porter was within one vote of an acquittal on the most serious charge against him.[39]

The second trial of the officers ended on May 11, 2016, when Officer Edward Nero was acquitted on all charges.[40] His acquittal resulted in increased criticism of Mosby for having moved too quickly in charging the officers.[41][42][43]

The third trial ended on June 23, 2016, when Officer Goodson was acquitted on all counts.[44] George Washington University Law School professor John F. Banzhaf III filed a complaint with the Maryland's Attorney Grievance Commission against Mosby, saying she did not have probable cause to charge six officers in the death of Freddie Gray, and also that she repeatedly withheld evidence from the officers' defense attorneys.[45][46][47][48]

Five of the six police officers unlawfully charged by Mosby are suing her for malicious prosecution, defamation, and invasion of privacy.[49]

Community outreach

Mosby started initiatives to engage the Baltimore community, including:

  • Aim to B’MORE – Begun in the spring of 2015 to provide an alternative to incarceration and a criminal record for first-time, non-violent felony drug offenders. Eligible defendants are granted probation before judgment, and placed on three years of probation. During probation, defendants complete 150 hours of community service, job skills training, and GED testing and/or substance abuse treatment as needed. The Office of the State’s Attorney partnered with local employers to secure full-time jobs for program participants following completion of their job skills training. If successful, after three years participants can apply to expunge their records.[50]
  • Junior State’s Attorney – Launched in the summer of 2015, the program exposes up to 30 promising middle school students each summer to careers in the criminal justice field.[51]
  • Community Day in Court – In an effort to rebuild trust and faith in the criminal justice system, Mosby began holding quarterly Community Days in Court bringing the public and law enforcement quarterly together to discuss issues plaguing the City.[52]


  1. Jump up^ "Marilyn Mosby sworn in as Baltimore City state's attorney". WBALTV. January 9, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  2. Jump up^ Sharrow, Ryan (December 16, 2014). "Baltimore City State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein rejoining Zuckerman Spaeder"Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  3. Jump up^ "Marilyn Mosby Linkedin Profile". Retrieved May 1, 2015. (Registration required (help)).[better source needed]
  4. Jump up^ Adams, Blair (September 25, 2013). "African-American Power Couple at Baltimore's Vanguard"Afro.
  5. Jump up to:a b c Chuck, Elizabeth (April 30, 2015). "Meet Marilyn Mosby, the Woman Overseeing the Freddie Gray Investigation". NBC News.
  6. Jump up^ Sanburn, John. "Who is Marilyn J. Mosby? A Guide to the Baltimore State's Attorney"Time. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  7. Jump up^ "Freddie Gray case prosecutor Marilyn Mosby has deep ties to Boston"Boston Globe. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  8. Jump up to:a b c Adams 2013, p. A10.
  9. Jump up^ Fox News Insider. "VIDEO: Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore Prosecutor in Freddie Gray Case, on Judge Judy"Fox News Insider.
  10. Jump up to:a b c d Broadwater, Luke (June 24, 2013). "Marilyn Mosby seeks to become city's top prosecutor"The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  11. Jump up to:a b "Mosby defeats Bernstein in Baltimore prosecutor's primary"Daily Record. Scotland. June 24, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  12. Jump up^ Rector, Kevin; Duncan, Ian (September 9, 2014). "Neverdon loses again as he strives for place on November ballot"The Baltimore Sun.
  13. Jump up^ Alejandro 2014, p. A3.
  14. Jump up^ Duncan, Ian (November 4, 2014). "Mosby is Baltimore's next State's Attorney"The Baltimore Sun.
  15. Jump up^ Dillon, Nancy (April 30, 2015). "New Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby — youngest chief prosecutor in a major U.S. city — is set to take on the Freddie Gray case"Daily News. New York.
  16. Jump up^ Ford, Dana; Sanchez, Ray (May 1, 2015). "Who is Marilyn Mosby?: Prosecutor in Freddie Gray case has talked of need to 'repair' trust". CNN.
  17. Jump up^ "Marilyn Mosby sworn in as Baltimore City state's attorney: Mosby, 34, becomes youngest top prosecutor in U.S.". Baltimore, Maryland: WBAL-TV. January 9, 2015.
  18. Jump up to:a b c d Anderson, Jessica; Fenton, Justin (January 14, 2015). "Mosby announces new leadership, strategies"The Baltimore Sun.
  19. Jump up to:a b c "Jury convicts sex offender in fifth tria". Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  20. Jump up^ "Killer gets life plus 240 years, flips off top prosecutor"The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  21. Jump up^ "Former public enemy No. 1 sentenced to life in fatal shooting". March 4, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  22. Jump up^ "Prosecutors convict sex offenders in fifth trial"The Baltimore Sun. September 30, 2007. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  23. Jump up^ "Man sentenced in Canton attack, robbery"The Baltimore Sun. June 16, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  24. Jump up^ "Man Found Guilty Of Murdering Toddler" June 15, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  25. Jump up^ "Homicides and shootings spike while arrests decline in Baltimore City"The Baltimore Sun. May 31, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  26. Jump up^ "Baltimore police, partners create around-the-clock 'war room' to address crime surge"The Baltimore Sun. July 12, 2015. Retrieved December 1,2015.
  27. Jump up to:a b Calvert, Scott; Palazzolo, Joe (April 30, 2015). "After Baltimore Riots, Focus Turns to New Prosecutor: City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby must decide whether to charge police in man's death"The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  28. Jump up^ Walsh, Michael (May 1, 2015). "Freddie Gray's death ruled a homicide; six Baltimore officers charged"Yahoo News. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  29. Jump up^ Graham, David (May 6, 2015). "Can the Baltimore Prosecutor Win Her Case?"The Atlantic. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  30. Jump up to:a b Perez, Evan (May 7, 2015). "Sources: Baltimore police investigation doesn't support some of prosecution's charges". CNN. Retrieved May 7,2015.
  31. Jump up^ "Justice or crowd control? Dershowitz on Baltimore charges". Fox News Channel. May 4, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  32. Jump up^ Croyder, Page (May 5, 2015). "Police charges in Freddie Gray case are incompetent at best"The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  33. Jump up^ "Six Baltimore Officers Indicted in Death of Freddie Gray"The New York Times. May 21, 2015. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  34. Jump up^ McLaughlin, Eliott C. "Marilyn Mosby under fire after appearance at Prince gig"CNN. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  35. Jump up^ "Mosby's newfound popularity made her a sought-after national speaker in 2015". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  36. Jump up^ Jenkins, Griff (June 10, 2015). "Marilyn Mosby: 'Absurd' to think I don't have police officers' backs"FOX. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  37. Jump up^ Simpson, Ian (June 10, 2015). "Baltimore prosecutors had asked police to target Freddie Gray corner: report". Reuters. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  38. Jump up^ "Judge declares mistrial in case of officer charged in Freddie Gray death" Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  39. Jump up^ "Jury in Officer Porter trial was one vote from acquittal on most serious charge". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  40. Jump up^ "Freddie Gray case: Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero found not guilty of all charges". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  41. Jump up^ "Did Marilyn Mosby Move Too Fast?" Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  42. Jump up^ "Bratton says Marilyn Mosby overcharged cops in Freddie Gray death". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  43. Jump up^ "Justice in Baltimore". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  44. Jump up^ "Outcome of officers' trials could impact prosecutor Marilyn Mosby's political career, observers say". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  45. Jump up^ "Law Professor Files Complaint Against Mosby" Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  46. Jump up^ Abell, Jeff. "Mosby draws criticism" Retrieved July 2,2016.
  47. Jump up^ "George Washington law professor files complaint against Marilyn Mosby". Associated Press. June 30, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2016 – via
  48. Jump up^ "Activist law professor calls for Mosby disbarment over prosecution in Freddie Gray case"Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  49. Jump up^ Fenton, Justin. "Freddie Gray case: Judge allows malicious prosecution lawsuit against Mosby to proceed". Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  50. Jump up^ Alejandro, Roberto (June 24, 2015). "With Aim to B’More Program, Mosby Looks to Address Structural Issues Driving Crime". Afro. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  51. Jump up^ "Mosby launches 'junior' prosecutor program for kids"The Baltimore Sun. March 26, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  52. Jump up^ "Mosby Discusses 'Community Day In Court' Eve". April 6, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  53. Jump up^ Davis, Krishana (July 3, 2013). "Marilyn Mosby Launches Campaign for State's Attorney Post"The Baltimore Afro-American. p. A4.