On January 8, 2015, Marilyn J. Mosby was sworn in as the 25th State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, making her the youngest chief prosecutor of any major American city.
Mosby, an inner-city Boston native, witnessed first-hand the impact of trauma associated with crime when her honor-roll cousin was gunned down in broad daylight outside of Mosby’s home due to mistaken identity. That horrific experience propelled Mosby to turn her pain into passion by becoming a first-generation college graduate, and pursuing her dreams of becoming an attorney and reforming the criminal justice system. Mosby received a Presidential Scholarship from Tuskegee University where she earned magna cum laude recognition and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. After leaving Tuskegee, Mosby was awarded the Council on Legal Educational Opportunity, Thurgood Marshall Scholarship, and subsequently earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Boston College Law School. While in law school, Marilyn proved to be an avid public servant, clerking at several highly-esteemed governmental agencies including the U.S. Attorney’s Office in both Boston, MA and Washington D.C., and the Homicide Unit of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston.
After law school, Mosby joined the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City (SAO), where she quickly advanced from District Court to General Felony. Mosby successfully prosecuted hundreds of cases and some of the most heinous felonies in the State of Maryland with an overall conviction rate of 80 percent. Driven by her love for courtroom litigation and the desire to diversify her legal experience, Mosby left the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office in 2011 and began working as a civil litigator for a Fortune 100 company. In just five months, Mosby was promoted to the Special Investigation Unit of the company, where she investigated and defended against fraudulent insurance claims throughout the State of Maryland.
From her formative years, Mosby’s passion was always to effectuate change by driving a more just, efficient, and fair criminal justice system. On June 24 2013, Mosby decided to take a leap of faith and run for Baltimore City State’s Attorney against the incumbent. After successfully completing one of the largest upsets in Baltimore City election history, Mosby assumed office and her leadership immediately transformed the State’s Attorney’s office into a national model for progressive holistic prosecution, exemplifying the mantra of not just being "tough on crime" but more importantly "smart on crime."
During Mosby’s first year in office, the SAO reached an 80 percent homicide conviction rate despite a 20 percent increase in the homicide caseload. The following year, Mosby created the Gun Violence Enforcement Division and the felony conviction rate reached 93 percent. During that same time period, Mosby’s administration secured a number of high profile convictions for various violent offenders designated Public Enemy #1 by the Baltimore Police Department, including BGF Executioners, Capone Chase who shot a man in his head in broad daylight in the presence of his pregnant girlfriend and Darryl Anderson who heinously opened fire and killed two women and critically injured another. Additionally, under her leadership: the SAO convicted former Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook who fatally struck a father of two with her vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and texting; all of the shooters responsible for the death of a one-year-old who was killed by a bullet meant for his father; and serial rapist Nelson Bernard Clifford.
While the primary focus of her administration has been and continues to be successfully targeting and convicting violent offenders, Mosby understands that the community has an integral role in realizing a safer city. Therefore, repairing the fractured relationship between law enforcement and communities remains a hallmark of her tenure. Since the start of her administration, Mosby has worked tirelessly to reinstate the community engagement division; hired and assigned 10 new community liaisons to each region of the city; personally attended more than 500 community events, churches, and schools; and has increased SAO grant funding by more than 27 percent.
In 2016, the SAO was awarded a $2.4 million grant—the largest grant it has ever received—to provide the necessary services to support victims and witnesses of crime. Under Mosby's leadership, the SAO has nearly doubled the size of the Victims/Witnesses Services Unit.
In an effort to be “smart on crime” and address crime holistically, Mosby created the Crime Control and Prevention division to tackle recidivism and deter youth violence through the implementation of innovative criminal justice initiatives such as Aim to B’More, the Junior State’s Attorney program and Great Expectations.
Aim to B'More provides first-time, non-violent felony drug offenders with a second opportunity to get it right by offering life skills and educational training which ultimately leads to full-time employment and the expungement of the associated felony conviction, while the Junior State’s Attorney and Great Expectations programs expose young people to the positive aspects of the criminal justice system.
Recognizing that prosecutors must not only aggressively advocate on behalf of the victims of crime, but in the pursuit of “justice,”—when the evidence exists—to exonerate those that have been falsely accused or convicted, in her first year in office, Mosby created the Conviction Integrity Unit to bolster the Office’s efforts to review and investigate claims of actual innocence. In 2016, the unit successfully exonerated Malcolm Bryant, who had been incarcerated for nearly 18 years after being falsely convicted of second degree murder.
Finally, Mosby’s creation of the Policy and Legislative Affairs division within the SAO has made significant legislative strides under her leadership. In 2016, the Office successfully lobbied for and played an integral role in the passage of legislation that increased penalties for repeat drunk drivers and second degree murder. In 2017, the SAO helped enact major sexual assault reforms which include the classification and definition of rape; the increased retention of and notification of rape kits; and, for the 4th year in a row, made record progress in the fight against serial rapist and child molesters by championing the Serial Sexual Predator Prevention Act.
As an active member in her profession and community, Mosby has served in a number of leadership positions on several committees and boards. She is a member of the Links Incorporated; the Peer Review Committee of the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission; and has served on the Judicial Nomination Committee for the Monumental Bar Association, as well as the Criminal Justice Committee for the Baltimore City Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Mosby is a member of the Association for Prosecuting Attorney's (APA), and was an integral contributor to the APA's reform proposals provided in the 21st Century Principles of Prosecution of Peace Officers. In 2016, Mosby revealed her own police accountability reform proposals with the APA’s support.
Mosby has received numerous professional and community awards, accolades and recognition, some of which include receiving the prestigious 2016 Newsmaker of the Year Award by The National Newspaper Publishers Association; being named the 2015 Junius W. Williams Young Lawyer of the Year by the National Bar Association; and receiving the Woman of Courage Award by the National Women’s Political Caucus. Additionally, Mosby was among the 2015 class of both The Root 100 and Ebony Magazine’s Power 100. She was named as one of the Baltimore Sun’s 50 Women to Watch twice, in 2013 and 2014; Baltimore Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 in 2014; and one of the Daily Record’s Leading Women in 2013.
Marilyn J. Mosby is married to Maryland State Delegate Nick J. Mosby, who represents the 40th Legislative District in the Maryland House of Delegates. They reside in West Baltimore and are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters. As a family, they worship at New Psalmist Baptist Church.