By Steve Pomper
Baltimore’s lofty, looney, and lefty “leadership,” headed by State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, has decided to add more crimes to those it will not enforce. They effectively decriminalized leftist riots back in 2015, through non-enforcement. Remember when former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, “we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well?” and to assault police officers.
One serious problem with the state’s attorney refusing to prosecute certain crimes is it’s an abuse of the constitution. As with the executive branch changing state voting laws that are under the explicit domain of the state legislature, Mosby is bypassing the legislative process, and simply refusing to prosecute certain crimes the people have legislated through their elected representatives.
According to CNN, Republican State Senator Robert Cassilly said, “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.” Sen. Cassilly added this was not prosecutorial discretion; this was “an exercise in legislating.”
What Baltimore officials call “low-level” offenses include drug possession (and related paraphernalia offenses) and prostitution, for which there may be legitimate arguments for legalization. But the policy also includes other offenses, for which there might be mitigation, but there is no argument they are legislated crimes (trespass, urinating/defecating in public, etc.), and they are not victimless.
The woman who has vagrants set up tents on her business property and can’t remove them because the state’s attorney won’t prosecute, is a victim. Aside from other ill effects, squatters tend to devalue property. The man and his kids playing in the park, watching in stunned silence as some derelict takes a dump in the kiddie pool are victims. The man pays taxes to use the park without such vulgarities.
And, regarding prostitution, this unlegislated public policy change doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I understand the notion, “adults should be able to use their bodies for financial interactions involving sex.” But society cannot ignore the organized crime and exploitation often associated with these activities.
When enforcement ends, the real problem of illegal sex trafficking (of young adults and children) remains. Trafficking is not a matter of two consenting adults engaged in a business transaction. Attention still needs to be paid to the reality on the streets, or victims will fall through the cracks. Why do I get the feeling the Baltimore authorities will ignore illegal sex trafficking once they stop enforcing laws against consensual prostitution? Just as rioters hide behind and among truly peaceful protesters, won’t sex traffickers hide within legal prostitution?
The other issue I find disingenuous is dissuading or stopping cops from making arrests by not prosecuting certain crimes and then boasting that the crime stats are down. That’s a neat trick. This general notion of not enforcing certain crimes also creates another phenomenon: When people know the police won’t respond to certain crimes and the state’s attorney won’t prosecute criminals, they stop reporting crime—even crimes that are not on Mosby’s “no fly” list. This is a dangerous game Baltimore is playing. But they keep electing these “leaders.”
According to The Hill, Mosby’s office announced, “there has been a 39 percent decrease in people entering the city’s criminal justice system.” Well, if you no longer arrest and prosecute criminals, they don’t enter the system, right?
The libertarian in me has never been a big fan of “the war on drugs” or criminalized prostitution, but I never lost sleep over the issues. And the people who got arrested knew those things were against the law when they broke it.
But also, as a cop, I saw firsthand the violence and ancillary crime associated with both activities. For Marilyn Mosby to disparage “law and order” betrays her corrupt view of enforcing the law by ignoring the Maryland State Constitution. The American Thinker recently described her as, “the incompetent state’s attorney who tried to railroad six Baltimore cops in the death of Freddie Gray….”
So, why shouldn’t we treat this infamous Baltimore “leader’s” comments about the “success” of her previous non-enforcement efforts with suspicion? According to the Washington Post, “Federal prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby and State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby….” The report lists a mountain of corruption for which the FBI and IRS are investigating them.
A quick word on “non-violent” crimes. Theft is a non-violent crime. After all, as leftists like to say, “it’s only property; it can be replaced.” A cavalier attitude—made often during leftist rioting—when it’s not your property. A person’s property isn’t just a thing. Todd Herman, a guest host on the Rush Limbaugh show, recently reminded me of what the late Peter Weissbach, a libertarian radio talk show host in Seattle used to say about a person’s property.
Weissbach spoke of property as reflected as a portion of a person’s life’s energy. Weissbach often reminded his audience that you have only a limited time on earth and that each moment is a portion of your life’s energy. Once spent, you will not get it back. If you work so many hours, days, years, etc. to purchase something of meaning and value to you, that something’s meaning and value reflect the life’s energy you spent to acquire it.
So, that item leftists believe is so easily replaced can have a significant meaning to its owner. For people like Mosby to belittle a person’s property by not enforcing some property crimes is the height of elitism. When someone steals even an item of little intrinsic value, it generally, reflects an expenditure of the owner’s finite life’s energy. The thief disrespects not only the concept of the rule of law but also of his or her victim’s limited life’s energy.
But that’s what the left wants. They want to diminish property rights by demeaning property ownership by not enforcing crimes committed by stealing, damaging, or trespassing on private property. If you have someone on your property you don’t want there, you have a right to tell them to leave and if they don’t, to call the police.
But, in Mosby’s world, what is the property owner supposed to do if the person won’t leave? Property owners pay taxes for police protection, but people like Mosby aren’t interested in your protection. What happens in real life? If the trespasser gets fed up with the owner telling him to leave, he may assault him. And only if the assault is significant might Mosby prosecute the offender. If the assault is minor, I highly doubt Mosby would prosecute a misdemeanor assault stemming from one of her selected “low-level” crimes.
From March 2020 to March 2021 “Mosby’s office dismissed 1,423 pending cases and dismissed 1,415 warrants related to these offenses….” Regardless of where you stand on a particular illegal behavior, in those pending cases, those arrested knew they were breaking the law. And the folks with warrants got those warrants because they intentionally failed to show up for their court dates after previously breaking the law. Isn’t Mosby just encouraging lawlessness?