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Marilyn and Nick Mosby

Crime & Justiceby Mark Reutter and Fern Shen7:00 pmMay 23, 20240

Marilyn Mosby gets one year of home confinement and no jail time

The judge said she was influenced by the defense’s argument that imposing jail time would inflict “extraordinary trauma” on her two daughters

Above: Marilyn Mosby addresses her supporters outside the Greenbelt courthouse after sentencing, saying, “God allowed me to go home to my babies.” (WBAL)

Baltimore’s former top prosecutor won’t be going to jail for perjury and mortgage fraud.

U.S. District Court Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby sentenced Marilyn Mosby today to three years of supervised release, with 12 months in home detention with electronic monitoring, plus 100 hours of community service.

Prosecutors had asked for as much as 20 months in prison.

The judge earlier ordered Mosby to forfeit a Florida condominium she had acquired through submission of false documents, according to the second of two juries that convicted her of mortgage fraud.

Mosby paid $476,000 for the Gulf Coast property in February 2021. The property is now worth at least $700,000 and perhaps as much as $890,000.

Griggsby agreed with prosecutors that Mosby should not benefit from the property’s future proceeds, but is entitled to her down payment and 10% of the condo’s appreciated value.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump listens as on-air personality Angela Rye addresses Mosby supporters at a lunchtime rally. (@MaddiONeill)

On-air personality Angela Rye rallies Mosby supporters at a lunchtime press conference outside the Greenbelt courthouse. (@MaddiONeill)

Insisting on her innocence to the end and asserting on national television that she was the victim of a “witch hunt” by the Trump administration, Mosby had pushed hard for a sentence of no incarceration.

When Griggsby announced her decision of probation, clapping and cheers erupted in the Greenbelt federal courtroom packed with her supporters.

The two-term state’s attorney (she was voted out of office in 2022) accepted hugs from prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump and her former husband, Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby, who she blamed at trial for keeping her in the dark about financial indiscretions, including a $45,000 tax lien, that figured in her convictions.

The sentencing followed arguments by Mosby’s court-appointed public defender, James Wyda, that no public funds were involved in the case and that imposing jail time would cause “extraordinary trauma” on her two teenage daughters, who attended the court hearing.

Prosecutors from the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office noted that Mosby has yet to accept any responsibility for her actions and warned “there is every reason to believe she will do wrong again.”

U.S. District Court Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby presided over today's sentencing.

U.S. District Court Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby presided over today’s sentencing.

Familiar Themes

Much of the four-hour hearing was taken up with testimony from friends, family, community activists, former colleagues and individuals exonerated by Mosby’s office, many of them stressing the same message Mosby and her surrogates had been stressing for weeks.

“The relentless attacks against her have sought to exploit and weaponize our criminal justice system not to pursue justice but to settle old scores and intimidate those who seek change,” said former St. Louis prosecutor Kimberly Gardner.

Asserting that other white-collar criminals have received a “slap on the wrist,” Crump said Mosby was treated more harshly because of her race.

“What is different here today is that underneath that white collar is the neck of a Black woman who dared to challenge the status quo,” Crump declared.

On the eve of Marilyn Mosby’s criminal sentencing, fact checking her claims of a “witch hunt” (5/22/24)

As the time drew near for Griggsby to announce her decision, there was tension in the room as the judge raised some last-minute questions and lingering concerns.

Asked if his client would address the court, Wyda at first said yes. But after the defense team consulted briefly, he told Griggsby that Mosby would not be speaking.

The Victims were Baltimore

At another point, Griggsby interrupted Wyda to focus on one of the prosecution’s main points – that stiffer penalties are in order in response to Mosby’s recent high-profile denunciations of the prosecution, judge and the legal system as a whole.

“Lack of contrition is what weighs heavily on this court,” Griggsby told Wyda. “What the court wants to focus on is whether there is conduct that shows disrespect for the law, disregard for the verdicts of two juries and disregard for the judicial process.”

Mosby’s conduct “displays a pattern of dishonesty” and “a breach of trust occurred,” the judge continued, musing that “the community. . . lost the benefit of the service of their state’s attorney.”

“They are victims with the cloud that was over your office and over the important work that you did for our city,” Griggsby said, addressing Mosby directly.

Mosby’s conduct “displays a pattern of dishonesty” and “a breach of trust occurred”  – Judge Griggsby.

Wyda acknowledged that some of the speakers on behalf of Mosby may have raised the judge’s hackles with their criticisms of the legal system.

“I’ll be candid with you. Do I wish the speakers had not gone there today? Yes,” he said. “But it is an honest feeling. Good authentic members of our community raised it.”

As for his client’s own lacerating public remarks, Wyda told Griggsby, “We can’t punish Ms. Mosby for fighting for her rights.”

“Separating a mother from her daughters has weighed very heavily on this court”  – Judge Griggsby.

Griggsby said that the following factors figured in her decision to place Mosby on home detention rather than in jail:

“You are a first-time offender. You have no prior criminal record and, most significantly to this court, you are a mother of two daughters. And the issue of incarceration and separating a mother from her daughters has weighed very heavily on this court in assessing what sentence to impose.”

Griggsby praised Mosby for “a long and commendable history of public service” and noted that she had suffered “important consequences” during the 28 months between her indictment and today’s hearing, including the loss of elective office, dissolution of her marriage and loss of income, with Mosby declaring she is “completely broke” and burdened by heavy credit card debt.

Nylyn Mosby thanks her mother's supporters today, saying her mother's struggle has inspired her to become a prosecutor.

With her mother tearfully at her side, Nylyn Mosby, 15, thanks supporters, saying her family’s struggle with the criminal justice system has inspired her to become a prosecutor. (WBAL)

“God bless the queen”

Wearing a white pantsuit, the 44-year-old lawyer entered the courthouse this morning with her two daughters, Nylyn and Aniyah Mosby, as one supporter shouted out, “God bless the queen” and others chanted, “Marilyn! Marilyn!”

Celebrating seven hours later on the courthouse plaza, Baltimore attorney J. Wyndal Gordon praised Judge Griggsby for not “bending to the pressure of the government.”

“She chose not to incarcerate Marilyn Mosby because it would do no earthy good, no community good, it would do no good at all,” Gordon declared.

A more subdued Nick Mosby told reporters, “I’m thankful for the court to keep their mother with her children,” adding that he thought the testimony about the impact of incarceration on the teenagers was “critically important” to her probation sentence.

When the defendant appeared before the cameras, she listened to her daughters thank the crowd, then offered a few words.

“This is not over,” she vowed, saying she will pursue her efforts to win a full pardon from President Joe Biden and her lawyers will appeal her convictions to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“But God was here today,” she continued. “And He touched the heart of this judge and has allowed me to go home to my babies.”

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