Home National news Former Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby’s legal team argues against prison sentence as court date nears

Former Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby’s legal team argues against prison sentence as court date nears

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore city state’s attorney general at the Baltimore Women’s March Gathering Rally at War Memorial Plaza at 101 North Gay Street in Baltimore Md. (photo courtesy of Elvert Barnes Protest Photography/Wikimedia Commons).

Former Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s legal team, under the direction of public defender James Wyda, vehemently opposed the imposition of a prison sentence and argued for a lesser punishment than the potential 40 years that are still on the table. “‘Just’ punishment does not mandate, or always include a prison sentence,” Wyda said.

Arguing against jail time for his client, Wyda invoked a central theme that Mosby and her supporters have repeatedly emphasized since her indictment in January 2022: the assertion that she was criminally investigated and prosecuted because she is a Black woman and a trailblazing prosecutor. “Ms. Mosby was accessing retirement funds that, though held in trust, were derived from her own income, as was the money used to fund the $5,000 gift letter,” Wyda said.“She did not defraud taxpayers, government agencies, or others to access someone else’s money.”

Prosecutors, however, are pushing for a starkly different outcome, urging U.S. Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby, who is Black and a nominee of President Joe Biden, to impose at least a 20-month prison sentence for Mosby’s felony convictions. In their memo, prosecutors Sean Delaney and Aron Zelinsky portrayed Mosby as a lawbreaker who continues to show no remorse and as a liar who deceitfully acted in her own self-interest during the COVID pandemic.

Mosby’s convictions stem from allegations related to documents she signed to purchase two Florida vacation properties, one at Kissimmee and the other in Longboat Key. Despite Mosby’s insistence that she did nothing wrong by withdrawing money from her city retirement account to finance the properties, jurors found her guilty of two counts of perjury for claiming to have suffered a COVID-related financial loss to withdraw money early and without penalty from her retirement account. Additionally, she was convicted of mortgage fraud for submitting a false gift letter as part of a mortgage application to buy the Longboat Key property.

Prosecutors have also moved to seize the Florida property.

Supporters of Mosby, including thousands of individuals and civil rights organizations, have rallied behind her, urging Biden to pardon her. “The only thing Marilyn Mosby is guilty of is the desire to provide her family with a better life,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said. “The sad reality is, as Black women take their rightful places in positions of power, dark forces seek to tear down both their progress and that of our community.

Numerous people have signed online petitions and written letters to the president claiming that the Trump Administration’s Department of Justice wrongfully convicted Mosby and subjected him to political persecution. Quoting law professor Sherrilyn Ifill, who submitted a statement to the court on Mosby’s behalf, Wyda wrote: “Given her stature and notable contributions as a public servant, [prison time] will send yet another devastating message about the nature of our justice system and its uncompromising and harsh application to people of color.”

Despite former Baltimore NAACP head Doc Cheatham urging Johnson to “stay out” of Mosby’s situation because he doesn’t view it as a civil rights issue, Johnson continued to call on Biden for a pardon.

“It is a miscarriage of justice and an example of the last administration’s misuse of authority,” Johnson said.

The court has set Mosby’s sentencing for May 23.

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