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U.S. - Baltimore State’s Attorney Mosby to stop prosecuting drug possession, prostitution, other crimes amid coronavirus

S.J.B.

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Baltimore State’s Attorney Mosby to stop prosecuting drug possession, prostitution, other crimes amid coronavirus
Time Prudente and Phillip Jackson
The Baltimore Sun
March 18th, 2020
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby ordered her staff Wednesday to dismiss pending criminal charges against anyone arrested for possessing drugs including heroin, attempted distribution of any drug, prostitution, trespassing, minor traffic offenses, open container and urinating in public.

Mosby said she’s taking the action to reduce the threat of a coronavirus outbreak behind bars. These crimes pose no risk to public safety and the defendants would be released before trial in normal times, she wrote in a memo to prosecutors.

“An outbreak in prison or jails could potentially be catastrophic,” she wrote. “Now is not the time for a piecemeal approach where we go into court and argue one one by one for the release of at-risk individuals."

Many of those whose cases will be dropped are not currently in jail.

In addition, Mosby sent a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan urging him to free all inmates over the age of 60 in state prisons, anyone approved for parole, and all prisoners scheduled to complete their sentences within the next year. She asked the governor to release them under supervision.
Read the full story here.
 

JessFR

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Good. I think prosecuting prostitutes is disgusting. Prosecute the clients... maybe, but not the prostitutes.

I think the same about prosecuting drug possession, but it gets me even more upset that people prosecute prostitutes, because it's basically attacking the victims. Even more blatantly so than drug possession.
 

S.J.B.

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I think the same about prosecuting drug possession, but it gets me even more upset that people prosecute prostitutes, because it's basically attacking the victims.
A lot of sex workers would vehemently disagree with your description of them as "victims." Just like with drug users, it dismisses their autonomy and can be used to justify the use of state coercion to attempt to "save them from themselves." This isn't to say that there aren't sex workers who are being forced into it, but that would make them victims of human trafficking and nobody is prosecuting victims of human trafficking (intentionally, at least).
 

JessFR

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A lot of sex workers would vehemently disagree with your description of them as "victims." Just like with drug users, it dismisses their autonomy and can be used to justify the use of state coercion to attempt to "save them from themselves." This isn't to say that there aren't sex workers who are being forced into it, but that would make them victims of human trafficking and nobody is prosecuting victims of human trafficking (intentionally, at least).
Yeah no, I stand by my analogy.

Let's quickly clarify that I'm primarily talking about prostitutes. Not adult film actors. No doubt the demographics are different and the latter likely has far more people who actually want to be doing it.

But as for the rest... The people who we're largely talking about who're being prosecuted in this context...

The significant majority of prostitutes have a history of child sexual abuse. That's not a coincidence. It's not a coincidence that a significant number of prostitutes are drug users.

And it's completely irrelevant that the state "could" just that argument to justify taking away their autonomy. The state can use any argument for anything. That the argument can be misused as a justification is neither here nor there.

I also don't consider that the word victim is disempowering or disregards autonomy. If you wanna substitute with the word survivor though I'm happy with that too. Same argument applies.

People are affected by the things that happen to them. That doesn't mean you don't have free will, but it does mean that the choices you have to freely choose between are not the same from person to person.

And I simply don't believe, and experience has reenforced to me, that the substantial majority of prostitutes did not choose to enter that line of work by completely free choice. Some do, but not most, and certainly not most of the ones picked up off the streets by the cops.

Think of it like working at McDonald's. You have a choice to work there, or work somewhere else. But not many people will choose to work at McDonald's flipping burgers if they had a better option. That's a choice but it's not a perfectly free choice.

The difference is prostitution is substantially more degrading.

And choice can be a funny thing. You can have a choice that is so pressured or influenced that it's no real choice at all.

Just because the majority of prostitutes aren't forced to do that work with a gun to their head, and could have chosen not to do it, doesn't mean it was a true, free choice.
 
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S.J.B.

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Yeah no, I stand by my analogy.

Let's quickly clarify that I'm primarily talking about prostitutes. Not adult film actors. No doubt the demographics are different and the latter likely has far more people who actually want to be doing it.

But as for the rest... The people who we're largely talking about who're being prosecuted in this context...

The significant majority of prostitutes have a history of child sexual abuse. That's not a coincidence. It's not a coincidence that a significant number of prostitutes are drug users.

And it's completely irrelevant that the state "could" just that argument to justify taking away their autonomy. The state can use any argument for anything. That the argument can be misused as a justification is neither here nor there.

I also don't consider that the word victim is disempowering or disregards autonomy. If you wanna substitute with the word survivor though I'm happy with that too. Same argument applies.

People are affected by the things that happen to them. That doesn't mean you don't have free will, but it does mean that the choices you have to freely choose between are not the same from person to person.

And I simply don't believe, and experience has reenforced to me, that the substantial majority of prostitutes did not choose to enter that line of work by completely free choice. Some do, but not most, and certainly not most of the ones picked up off the streets by the cops.

Think of it like working at McDonald's. You have a choice to work there, or work somewhere else. But not many people will choose to work at McDonald's flipping burgers if they had a better option. That's a choice but it's not a perfectly free choice.

The difference is prostitution is substantially more degrading.

And choice can be a funny thing. You can have a choice that is so pressured or influenced that it's no real choice at all.

Just because the majority of prostitutes aren't forced to do that work with a gun to their head, and could have chosen not to do it, doesn't mean it was a true, free choice.
I misinterpreted what you meant by "victim." I interpreted it in the sense of "victims of their clients" in the way that some people think of drug addicts as "victims of their dealers," as opposed what you are referring to which is "victims of their troubled upbringings." But in that case most criminals are victims, are they not? Someone who is sexually abused as a child and becomes addicted to street drugs and commits thefts instead of engaging in prostitution is a victim in the same way and also doesn't have a "true, free choice" (as if such a thing exists).
 

JessFR

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I misinterpreted what you meant by "victim." I interpreted it in the sense of "victims of their clients" in the way that some people think of drug addicts as "victims of their dealers," as opposed what you are referring to which is "victims of their troubled upbringings." But in that case most criminals are victims, are they not? Someone who is sexually abused as a child and becomes addicted to street drugs and commits thefts instead of engaging in prostitution is a victim in the same way and also doesn't have a "true, free choice" (as if such a thing exists).
Well yes. I consider that bring a victim too.
We can't let people steal as a society, rather we should provide support so people don't have too.

But it's even worse with prostitution because unlike stealing, the only person potentially being hurt is the prostitute. Very different from theft. And so significantly more unjust to be prosecuting someone for it.

Although, while I don't think of drug addicts as victims of their dealers. I do somewhat agree that many prostitutes essentially are somewhat victims of their clients. It's far more complicated than that of course. Since if there were no clients and prostitution weren't an option, that wouldn't automatically solve the underlying problem.

But it's fair to say that I have little love for many of the clients of prostitutes regardless.

I mean, in principle I have no moral problem with true, free sex commerce. If someone really wants to be a prostitute and someone else wants to hire them, I have no issue with that. My issue is just that much of the time it's much grayer than that.
 

Cream Gravy?

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But it's fair to say that I have little love for many of the clients of prostitutes regardless.
I know you said right after that technically you have no moral qualms with it, but... men have needs. If I was rich, I'd probably forgo a wife, and just hire hot young women when I needed my needs met. But I'm not rich and prostitutes are expensive and I love my wife anyhow. Just that in an alternate life where I was earning six-figures, I'd definitely be one of those 'clients'.

And is a trophy wife not a glorified prostitute? My wife jokes around at times saying if we didn't have each other she'd try to marry money. I don't blame her, so would I. A few decades of being unhappy, but millions of dollars for the second half of your life... sounds like a fair trade off, to me.
 
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