Baltimore Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby Under Fire for Political, Celebrity Conduct

Jeffrey Shapiro, Washington Times, May 11, 2015

Marilyn Mosby, the Baltimore City State Attorney in charge of prosecuting six police officers for the death of Freddie Gray, Jr., is coming under increasing criticism from defense attorneys and legal scholars who think she is politicizing the case and using her prosecutorial power to create her own celebrity.

Ms. Mosby has raised eyebrows in several quarters with a media blitz that has spanned from a CNN interview that focused on her courtship with her city councilman husband to her decision to appear on stage with Prince during a rock concert for a song dedicated to Mr. Gray.

The legal experts say Ms. Mosby is in danger of running afoul of the Maryland Bar standards barring prejudicial conduct by prosecutors, or at the very least traveling down a well-worn path of failed celebrity prosecutions like those involving O.J. Simpson, George Zimmerman or the Duke lacrosse players.

“She’s a young prosecutor in the starlight with an agenda, which is not solely focused on prosecution,” said Mark O’ Mara, the Florida criminal defense attorney who successfully defended Mr. Zimmerman against charges he shot an unarmed black man in a trial that turned the tables on the prosecutors.

“If she wants to prosecute cops, that’s a gargantuan task in itself,” he added. “If she’s going to be the standard in which we prosecute police, then do it responsibly, don’t open yourself to undue criticism a lot of lawyers are probably asking, why are you on stage with Prince–why aren’t you working?”

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“The person she’s following is Angela Correy, the horrible prosecutor from Florida who brought the George Zimmerman case,” Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said in an interview. “[Appeasement] was completely the reason she brought the [Gray] case too quickly. This was crowd control, not justice. She is all about now, all about the present. This is her big opportunity.

“What’s worse is her statement that she listened to the crowd, she listened to ‘no justice, no peace.’ I think prosecutors, when they talk about justice for the victim they’re presuming guilt and that’s not the way a prosecutor should operate,” Mr. Dershowitz said.

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Mr. Dershowitz said Ms. Mosby’s conduct is symptomatic of a flawed U.S. system that elects prosecutors instead of appointing them. He believes that invites prosecutors whose priorities are seeking higher office, not justice.

“In the rest of the world, prosecutors are civil servants,” he said. “They are appointed because of distinguished history, legal history law enforcement, or they study. In this country a prosecutor is a future senator, a future congressman or governor.”

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