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WSJ Calls State's Attny Mosby's Conviction Rate Into Question

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A national publication is calling Marilyn Mosby's conviction rate into question, saying it falls far below her predecessor, as violent crime surges in Baltimore City.

WJZ investigator Mike Hellgren looked into The Wall Street Journal's claims that State's Attorney Mosby's conviction rate is down almost 20 percent compared to Gregg Bernstein. However, Mosby contends the analysis is flawed.

The Journal reports that while violent crime is on the rise, convictions are way down. And that under Mosby, there's just a 53% felony conviction rate, when it was 67% percent under her predecessor Gregg Bernstein.

The report counts dismissed cases, which have risen under Mosby, as "no convictions," saying it uses the same methodology as the federal government.

"Not fair," she tells WJZ.

"It is contradictory to our definition of justice. It assumes that defendants are guilty until proven innocent," she said.

Under Mosby's calculations, her prosecutors secure convictions in nine-out-of-ten cases.

"If I get a case that's a drug case, and it's cocaine, but tests come back flour, it shouldn't be part of the conviction rate," she said.

This particular office is hurt by the departure of so many experienced prosecutors.

Longtime Defense Attorney Warren Brown, criticized how Mosby handled the Freddie Gray prosecutions and says her office could have better relations with police, although he believes the conviction rate is not the cause of Baltimore's bloodshed.

"Until we start to deal with what gives rise to the people who commit those types of acts, you're always going to have people who commit those types of acts no matter who the chief prosecutor is," said Brown.

Mosby has filled a majority of vacancies in her office and says the average experience of current prosecutors has remained consistent.

Mosby is just shy of the mid-way point of her term. For its analysis, the wall street journal looked at cases from 2011 through august of this year.

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