Home | BaltimoreBrew.com

Marilyn and Nick Mosby

Crime & Justiceby Fern Shen6:19 pmMay 9, 20240

Marilyn Mosby asks for no jail time, while prosecutors seek a 20-month sentence

Dueling memos seek widely different outcomes at Mosby’s May 23 sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby

Above: Marilyn Mosby on MSNBC on May 1 as part of a media campaign in hopes of a presidential pardon following her perjury conviction. (@thereidout)

Former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, found guilty of perjury and mortgage fraud by two separate juries, has asked for a sentence of probation only.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, are asking U.S. Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby to sentence her to 20 months in prison for the felony convictions.

The distinctly different approaches to accountability for the high-profile former prosecutor came in a pair of memos filed today in U.S. District Court ahead of Mosby’s May 23 sentencing hearing.

“ ‘Just’ punishment does not mandate, or always include, a prison sentence,” wrote Mosby’s lawyer, public defender James Wyda, arguing that the charges against her were “less aggravating than typical prosecutions of public officials.”

According to Wyda, “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. She did not defraud taxpayers, government agencies or others to access someone else’s money.”

In arguing against jail time for his client, Wyda invoked one of the themes Mosby and her supporters have repeatedly invoked since her indictment in January 2022 – that she was criminally investigated and prosecuted because she is a Black woman and a trailblazing prosecutor.

“Deterrence has already been served”  – Mosby attorney James Wyda.

“She has experienced enough consequences already to fully incentivize a lifetime of following the law,” Wyda wrote. “Not a day in prison is needed to fulfill specific deterrence goals in this case. Deterrence has already been served.”

Quoting law professor Sherrilyn Ifill, who submitted a statement to the court on Mosby’s behalf, Wyda added:

“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.”

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.

“Ms. Mosby was charged and convicted because she chose to repeatedly break the law”  – U.S. prosecutors.

“Exploiting a crisis for her own benefit, Ms. Mosby abused a law meant for Americans in need of emergency financial assistance – and lied repeatedly to do it,” they wrote.

“Ms. Mosby was charged and convicted because she chose to repeatedly break the law,” prosecutors asserted, not because of politics or race or her progressive criminal justice agenda.

Media Blitz

Baltimore’s former two-term prosecutor was charged in connection with documents she signed to buy two Florida vacation properties, one at Kissimmee and the other in Longboat Key.

Mosby said she did nothing wrong by withdrawing money from her city retirement account and using it to put down payments on the two houses.

But jurors agreed with prosecutors, convicting her of two counts of perjury last November for claiming to have suffered a Covid-related financial loss in order to withdraw money early and without penalty from her retirement account.

A separate jury convicted Mosby in February of mortgage fraud for submitting a false gift letter as part of a mortgage application to buy the Longboat Key property.

As the date of her sentencing approached, Mosby launched  a petition drive seeking a full pardon from President Joe Biden and a media blitz, pleading her innocence on “The ReidOut” with Joy Reid on MSNBC and the nationally syndicated show, “The Breakfast Club.”

“The only thing Marilyn Mosby is guilty of is the desire to provide her family with a better life”  – NAACP President Derrick Johnson.

On Tuesday, the head of the national NAACP (the Baltimore chapter has long been fervent Mosby supporters) sent a letter to Biden describing her prosecution as “a miscarriage of justice and an example of the last administration’s misuse of authority.”

“The only thing Marilyn Mosby is guilty of is the desire to provide her family with a better life. 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,” president and CEO Derrick Johnson stated.

Rebutting such criticism, Delaney and Zelinsky today noted that Judge Griggsby ruled there is no evidence that supports the claims of personal or political animus by prosecutors toward Mosby.

Instead, the 44-year-old, ex-state’s attorney has “demonstrated a continued disrespect for the law and the Court – both in her disregard for this Court’s ruling and in her continuing attempt to retry her case through the media.”

Most Popular