The NAACP is one of over a dozen civil rights organizations urging President Joe Biden to pardon Marilyn Mosby, the former Baltimore prosecutor awaiting sentencing after being convicted of fraudulently obtaining a loan. The request to Biden states that Mosby did not receive fair treatment and that her prosecution was based on a political vendetta by the Justice Department under the Trump administration.

Civil rights groups urge Biden to pardon Mosby

The NAACP and 14 other civil rights organizations sent a letter to Biden “to request a presidential pardon of former Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.” The letter to Biden touts Mosby’s accomplishments, noting that she went from being a first-generation college student to “the youngest chief prosecutor of any major U.S. city.” As noted in the letter, Mosby became a nationally prominent figure when she charged six Baltimore police officers for the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder in 2020, Mosby became a fierce critic of the Trump administration and its rhetoric, which her defenders believe led to her being investigated and ultimately charged concerning a COVID hardship withdrawal from her retirement account and a mortgage application. In addition to the NAACP, organizations signing the letter include Black Voters Matter, Color of Change, the National Action Network and the National Urban League.

Groups allege "political persecution and malicious prosecution"

The letter states that “Mosby was wrongfully convicted“ and alleges that she endures “the political persecution and malicious prosecution of the Trump Administration’s Department of Justice” due to her public criticisms. The message to Biden argues that Mosby was unfairly prosecuted over a COVID pandemic hardship loan she took from her retirement account and a misrepresentation of a financial gift as she applied for a mortgage. The organizations claim that Mosby technically qualified for the loan and that she was the only person prosecuted among over 700 people who took out similar loans. They also argue that her other alleged wrongdoing, misrepresentation on her mortgage application, was based on improper advice. According to the letter, the amounts of money at stake in both cases “fall far below the Department of Justice’s usual million dollar threshold” for bringing such serious charges.

As Mosby awaits sentencing in her cases, which could see her placed in federal prison for up to 40 years, she has maintained her innocence. During a recent appearance on The Breakfast Club, Mosby said, “I’ve been accused of doing something that I have not done. I’m innocent.” She echoes the claims of her defenders — that she was targeted by the “prior administration” — and urges Biden to pardon her. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre acknowledged the pardon request but declined to comment beyond pointing toward a general process for reviewing such requests. In addition to the letter sent to the White House, an online petition supporting Mosby’s pardon has already gathered over 32,000 signatures.

It remains to be seen whether this support from the public and from a number of prominent civil rights organizations will be enough to spare Mosby from punishment. Her sentencing is scheduled for May 23. Thus, if Mosby is to avoid being sent to federal prison, she may need a White House intervention to come sooner rather than later.