Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby attracted scrutiny earlier this year because of a Maryland State Ethics Commission report on her travels. Baltimore’s top prosecutor took 23 out-of-town trips sponsored by nonprofits and other groups over two years. She benefitted personally from over $30,000 in airfare, hotel rooms, and per-diem payments.[i]
Mosby’s frequent traveling companions from Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP) received less attention. This group of local prosecutors supports so-called progressive criminal justice approaches.[ii] It includes prosecutors from Brooklyn, Chicago’s Cook County, Houston’s Harris County, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle’s King County, and St. Louis. FJP is sponsored by the Tides Center, a hard-left advocacy organization that “incubates” new activist organizations.[iii]
These prosecutors are the products of a multi-year campaign by radicals and activists such as George Soros to reshape the nation’s criminal justice system with their election.[iv] Collectively, these sanctuary prosecutors oppose what they deride as “tough on crime” and “incarceration-driven” approaches in favor of incarceration alternatives, fewer drug-related prosecutions, and ending cash bail.[v] Representative of their agenda is Houston’s Kim Ogg who campaigned on a left-leaning platform of support for Black Lives Matter. In office, she fired nearly 40 career prosecutors, replacing them with experienced defense attorneys. [vi]
FJP advocates an expressly “sanctuary city” agenda. This includes working to prevent ICE enforcement in courthouses and with probation departments. They advocate alerting groups representing aliens if ICE seeks to question or detain individuals. And they propose vacating convictions to shield defendants from federal authorities, even if these individuals have already pled guilty to crimes.
Attorney General Barr unquestionably had these prosecutors in mind when he described a “development that is demoralizing to law enforcement and dangerous to public safety. That is the emergence in some of our large cities of District Attorneys that style themselves as “social justice” reformers, who spend their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook, and refusing to enforce the law.
“These anti-law enforcement DAs have tended to emerge in jurisdictions where the election is largely determined by the primary. Frequently, these candidates ambush an incumbent DA in the primary with misleading campaigns and large infusions of money from outside groups.
Once in office, they have been announcing their refusal to enforce broad swathes of the criminal law. Most disturbing is that some are refusing to prosecute cases of resisting police. Some are refusing to prosecute various theft cases or drug cases, even where the suspect is involved in distribution. And when they do deign to charge a criminal suspect, they are frequently seeking pathetically lenient sentences. So these cities are headed back to the days of revolving door justice. The results will be predictable. More crime; more victims.”[vii]
These radical sanctuary prosecutors maintain not just an emotional distance from crime victims, but a physical one as well. Mosby and her FJP comrades do not confine themselves to the usual convention and conference venues. Instead her trips included two weeks in Europe in May 2019, learning about prison systems in Germany and Portugal while staying at five-star hotels in Berlin and Lisbon.
Mosby also traveled to the Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort in Kenya. The resort has been voted ‘Kenya’s Best Golf Hotel’ in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.
What better locale to learn about government graft and corruption?
Two months after that, she was in Edinburgh at the Balmoral Hotel at a meeting “designed to foster cross-global collaboration about U.S. drug sentencing laws.” Where better to discuss drug sentencing than at the first hotel in Scotland to receive a five-star award from the Forbes Travel Guide, featuring a bar offering the widest whisky selection in Edinburgh and whose restaurant boasts a Michelin star?
In these refined surroundings, prosecutors such as Mosby can safely avoid the consequences of their policies. They are safely removed from having to face the increased numbers of crime victims and their families.
The Defund the Police movement has captured much appropriate public attention. Yet these radical sanctuary prosecutors are potentially every bit as damaging to their communities’ public safety.
[vii] Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers Remarks at the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police’s 64th National Biennial Conference https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-william-p-barr-delivers-remarks-grand-lodge-fraternal-order-polices-64th