Baltimore’s Top Prosecutor Discusses The Criminal Justice System And Police Reform In Her City

Baltimore State’s Attorney and America’s youngest top prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, weighs in on police and national criminal justice reform.

Marilyn Mosby, who gained national respect for prosecuting six officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, is the youngest top prosecutor in America working in a big city.

Mosby was sworn in to office on January 8, 2015. She has in approximately 15 months of her term as the state attorney restructured her office to work with the community more efficiently and has worked out smart initiatives to combat crime and reform criminal justice in the city of Baltimore.

In an exclusive interview with NewsOne on Tuesday Mosby discussed criminal justice reform with host Roland Martin.

When asked about finding harmony between her job as prosecutor and her desire to seek justice for the people of Baltimore Mosby told Martin, the program’s host, that her duty as a prosecutor is to “seek justice over convictions.”

“That means pursuing justice on behalf of victims and witnesses — justice on behalf of defendants — and we can all see that prosecutorial discretion has a lot of consequences, collateral consequences on our community,” said Mosby.

“It’s about applying justice fairly and equally regardless of sex, occupation, your religion, and that is something that I take very seriously,” she added.

According to Mosby, the outrage from Baltimore police officers, with whom prosecutors have traditionally sided, in the aftermath of her decision to indict six of them is a “cultural shift”. Mosby added that this shift speaks for the fairness and equality with which justice is being applied in Baltimore.

Weighing in on the national criminal justice reform debate, Mosby opined that in order to put an end to mass incarceration, which has disproportionately affected black and brown people focus should be placed on being “smart on crime” instead on being tough.

According to Mosby, the barrier-breaking initiatives, which she has implemented, have made headway in improving the relationship with the African American community.

In addition, the 36-year old attorney emphasized the need for crime control and prevention, and timely community engagement with the youth, who are more likely to be caught up in the cruel criminal justice system.

Mosby concluded her lengthy discussion with host Martin by highlighting a major diversity problem among prosecutors and the need to have more black prosecutors across America.

“As a woman of color, I represent 1 percent of all elected prosecutors in this country,” said Mosby.

She continued: “These are the individuals, that are making a decision about who is going to be charged, what they are going to be charged with, what sentence recommendation they are going to make — we need more of us on both sides of the fence.”

Mosby epitomizes a generation of young African American attorneys, who are fighting the good fight.

Their efforts and struggles to end the bias in the criminal justice system should be an all American struggle.

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