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The New Lynch Mob

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On Sunday, Democratic Maryland State Senator Catherine Pugh lavished praise on state's attorney Marilyn Mosby, who just days before announced that her office would file a bevy of charges against all six officers involved in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. Gray's death drove protests and riots throughout Baltimore, serving as the spark to ignite local rage, and focusing national attention on the state of inner city black Americans. Pugh said that Mosby "really set the bar for the nation in terms of how these sorts of cases ought to be looked at."


Pugh wasn't Mosby's only conspicuous fan. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who has represented the failing city of Baltimore for decades, said, "Her integrity is impeccable without a doubt." The widow of Eric Garner, the New York City man who died after police officers used a submission hold on him, said, "I feel like the same scenario that happened in Baltimore also happened with my husband. I would just like to see something done." Race-baiter and riot-stoker extraordinaire Al Sharpton stated, "We cannot keep playing Russian roulette on whether or not we get a good prosecutor or not." Crowds in Baltimore reportedly celebrated Mosby's indictment of the officers. The Huffington Post called her "objectively badass." Fusion called her "America's favorite prosecutor."

What, exactly, did Mosby do to earn such plaudits? She announced that she would charge the six officers, three of whom were black; she did so without laying out a compelling narrative supporting the charges brought (failing to buckle a seatbelt does not amount to either manslaughter or second-degree murder); she brought the charges while simultaneously pandering to the rioters, stating, "I heard your calls of no justice, no peace. ... To the youth of this city, I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment. ... As young people, our time is now."


If that sounds more like a campaign speech than an announcement of charges, that's because it is a campaign speech. Mosby was elected in January 2015 as the youngest district attorney in America; she reportedly has aspirations to higher office. Before her election, she publicly questioned the jury verdict in the George Zimmerman case and cast racial aspersions on the prosecutor who refused to file charges against Officer Darren Wilson (even Eric Holder's Department of Justice found Wilson's actions against Michael Brown justifiable). Furthermore, Mosby's husband, Nick Mosby, has excused rioting while serving as a Baltimore city councilman. Mosby's prosecution of the case amounts to a serious conflict of interest.

But even were Mosby not personally compromised by the political issues surrounding the case, mob justice seems to be running amok. When Sharpton, Cummings and the rest demand "justice," they aren't demanding justice: They're demanding the heads of police officers, without supporting evidence. In Ferguson, the narrative of the murder of Michael Brown trumped the facts of the case; Sharpton, Cummings and the rest still cite Brown's death in their litany of instances of police brutality.


Mosby's prosecution, however, elevates the lynch mob to legal status. As Alan Dershowitz put it, "this is a show trial." America has a lot of show trials in store, if the mob is to be placated. Marilyn Mosby doesn't care who burns, so long as social justice and political expediency are served. And the mob doesn't care what burns, so long as they get to hijack the political system to serve their thirst for vengeance.

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