The Baltimore State’s Attorney announced her office will no longer prosecute crimes such as drug possession, minor traffic violations, and prostitution.
Classes of crimes Mosby referred to as “low-level offenses” will instead be considered public health matters and referred to community-based organizations to handle, One America News Network reports.
“America’s war on drug users is over in the city of Baltimore,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced.
Mosby assured concerned citizens her office will continue to prosecute violent crimes such as carjacking, murders, and robberies.
Republicans in the city have balked at these measures, reminding Mosby her office is responsible for upholding all laws, not just those they choose to pursue.
“Prosecutors take an oath to uphold the constitution in the state of Maryland, and the constitution says the general assembly sets the policy, not the prosecutors,” said Republican state Senator Robert Cassilly.
With the city actively reducing sentences and effectively decriminalizing much lawbreaking, many prisoners have already been released from incarceration in response to COVID-19. Mosby called the early release policy a success and announced it will now become a permanent policy as part of an ongoing effort to release convicted criminals.
Baltimore has already reduced the city’s police department budget by $22 million.
The Baltimore policies are similar to those enacted in recent years in other Democrat-run cities. Elimination of cash bail and early release of prison inmates will put many more criminals on the streets, and ongoing efforts to defund police reduce the number of law enforcement officers available to protect these communities.
“It is not compassionate to permit heroin and methamphetamine addicts to openly practice their habit, nor is it compassionate to tolerate theft and vandalism because those who engage in these activities may be disadvantaged or feel disenfranchised,” writes Edward Ring for Budget and Tax News. “And if the hordes of addicts and thieves and rioters who have created lawless enclaves in every major American city were turned loose in the gated suburbs of the leftist elites, who can doubt their compassion would be redirected within hours into more effective avenues? As it is, however, the Democratic machine is methodically turning over larger and larger swaths of America’s cities to anarchy.”
Attorney Luis Robles says Mosby’s policy favors criminals over the public she is supposed to serve.
“They are protecting the criminals they once prosecuted,” Robles told Budget and Tax News.
Prisons do positive social good, protecting the public by keeping criminals off the streets, says Robles.
“Diversion only works with a small band of people,” Robles said. “For the vast array of criminals, deterrence is necessary.”
In an attempt to force the release of more prisoners, the Maryland legislature passed the Juvenile Restoration Act on April 2. Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed it on Thursday. The bill would have banned life sentences for juvenile offenders and allowed courts to reconsider the sentences of those who have served 20 years in prison and could prove they are no threat to the public.
Mosby had testified in support of the bill.
“Prosecutors have historically played a role and contributed to the epidemic of mass incarceration and racial inequity in this country by making excessive sentence recommendations, and we have a responsibility to right that wrong,” Mosby said. “As the lead prosecutor in Baltimore City, our office should have the authority, autonomy and discretion to review and revise sentences that are incompatible with current practices.
“The status quo is neither just nor sustainable,” Mosby testified. “The JRA does not allow for guaranteed release of these offenders. Rather, it creates a careful process for second chances, where public safety is the paramount deciding factor. We must recognize the mistakes of the past and modernize our approach to incarcerated individuals, particularly those sentenced as juveniles.”
What we are seeing now is a system of selective prosecution being implemented all across the country, says Robles. Progressive-Left District Attorneys are deciding who should be prosecuted based on political and racial considerations, and they are taking it upon themselves to decide which laws are worthy of enforcement.
“If you are going to enforce the law, it should be enforced equally,” Robles said.