Larry Hogan vs. Marilyn Mosby

Marilyn Mosby is the Baltimore prosecutor who, along with then-mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, undermined police morale following the death of Freddie Gray in 2015. Mosby did it by prosecuting half a dozen police officers who weren’t guilty of wrongdoing. She failed to convict any of them.

The city’s failure to support its police force led to a surge in violent crime in the months and years following Gray’s death. We wrote about this breakdown in law enforcement here, for example.

All these years later, Rawlings-Blake is long gone as mayor. However, Mosby, her partner in facilitating crime, remains in office. She is under federal investigation, though.

Meanwhile, homicides, carjacking incidents, aggravated assaults, and bank and convenience store robberies all continue to rise. About half of the aggravated assaults and one third of the robberies in the entire state of Maryland occur in the city of Baltimore.

It’s obvious that Mosby is part of the problem — even Baltimore’s mayor acknowledges this — and on Sunday Maryland’s governor Larry Hogan said so. In response to a question about the attempted murder of a Baltimore police officer who is now on life support, Hogan stated:

We have a prosecutor in Baltimore City that refuses to prosecute violent criminals, and that’s at the root of the problem.

Mosby fired back with the race card. She accused Hogan of “incessant dog-whistling” and called him “privileged and entitled.” She suggested, as does the Washington Post in this slanted article, that Hogan is posturing in anticipation of a possible presidential run. (Hogan can’t run for governor again due to term limits.) And she complained that Hogan won’t meet with her.

She’s right on the last point. Hogan has said that, although he has met with other Baltimore leaders, Mosby “shouldn’t even bother” asking for a meeting. He added, “I have no interest in meeting with her while she’s under federal investigation.”

Hogan has collaborated with Baltimore’s new mayor, Brandon Scott, who is African-American. In May, Scott asked to have the state police come back into the city. Hogan has agreed to this. He is also fast-tracking and expanding the state’s $10 million Neighborhood Safety Grants program to include places of worship and vulnerable communities.

As for the racial angle, Mosby’s allegations are laughable. If Hogan has a political future, which I doubt, it doesn’t depend on the votes of racists. The Post’s report, though sympathetic to Mosby, acknowledges that Hogan’s national aspirations depend on him being regarded as “bipartisan” and unifying. The only dogs who detect, or claim to detect, a racist whistle in Hogan’s feud with Mosby are Mosby and her sympathizers.

Mosby also objected, with reason, to Hogan’s claim that she won’t prosecute violent crime. Mosby does, of course, prosecute violent crime. As of the end of August of this year, her office had secured nearly 400 guilty verdicts in felony cases, seven of which were were for homicides and 59 for gun violence-related crimes.

According to Mosby:

This data sends a clear message that we will not tolerate criminal activity and my prosecutors will continue to fight tirelessly to deliver justice for victims, witnesses, and their families in our daily pursuit to create a safer, healthier Baltimore.

However, experts noted what was missing from Mosby’s data — the number of cases that have been dropped this year as well as the number of cases in which charges were reduced.

Last year, Mosby boasted of a 95 percent felony conviction rate and an 85 percent conviction rate for homicides. However, these numbers do not include cases that her office dropped.

This set of data released by Mosby’s office in 2020 shows a significant decrease in violent crime cases brought during the period from 2010-2019 — this despite the spike in violent crime during these years.

We also know that Mosby isn’t prosecuting nonviolent crimes, including drug possession, and that she opposes mandatory minimum sentences. In announcing her policy of prosecuting only violent crimes, Mosby declared that “the era of ‘tough on crime’ prosecutors is over in Baltimore.”

Actually, it’s been over since at least 2015, when Mosby took office.

It was tough on crime prosecutors, mandatory minimum sentences, and “broken windows” policing that reversed the crime wave of the 1970s and 1980s. Hogan is right to be disgusted with Mosby for rejecting this successful formula.

Hogan’s grievances against Mosby aren’t about dog-whistles, privilege, or entitlement. They are about public safety, and Baltimore’s willful failure adequately to protect it ever since the death of Freddie Gray.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.