Baltimore Will Stop Prosecuting Low-Level Offenses To Limit Spread of COVID-19

Baltimore Will Stop Prosecuting Low-Level Offenses To Limit Spread of COVID-19

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby will no longer prosecute low-level offenses: drug possession, prostitution, minor traffic violations, etc.The decision was in response to a one-year experiment of limiting the spread of COVID-19 by making fewer arrests. Mosby believes that Charm City can function as a society without having a tough on crime agenda.Related Stories: BALTIMORE ELECTS DEMOCRAT BRANDON SCOTT AS ITS YOUNGEST MAYOR EVER 

“A decrease in arrests, no adverse impact on the crime rate, and address the systemic inequity of mass incarceration,” Mosby said in a statement.

“The overall incarcerated population in Baltimore City is down 18% during COVID. There has been a 39% decrease in people entering the criminal justice system compared to this time last year,” according to the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

“Today, America’s war on drug users is over in the city of Baltimore,” Mosby said. “We leave behind the era of tough-on-crime prosecution and zero-tolerance policing and no longer default to the status quo to criminalize mostly people of color for addiction. We will develop sustainable solutions and allow our public health partners to do their part to address mental health and substance use disorder.”

Although Mosby’s approach to criminal reform has been met with praise by liberals like Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, more conservative opponents like Republican state Sen. Robert Cassilly disavow the move.

“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,” Cassilly told the station. “I respect the whole prosecutorial discretion. That’s not prosecutorial discretion, that’s an exercise in legislating. That’s what the legislature is supposed to do.”

Cassilly is not alone in his opinion; Sean Kennedy, a visiting fellow at the Maryland Public Policy Institute, studies crime in Baltimore, and he believes the new policy has dire consequences in a city he refers to as the “murder capital of America,”  The Washington Post reported.
“These ‘quality of life’ violations are more than a nuisance, they are precursors and directly proximate to much more serious and often violent crimes,” said Kennedy, warning about offenses like human trafficking and drug-related shootings.