In a Wednesday news conference, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby denied the statements made by the Maryland Secretary of Juvenile Services regarding the judicial proceedings of the teen charged in the murder of Baltimore County Police officer Amy Caprio.
Mosby expressed that the shift of blame towards her department for the mishandling of the juvenile's criminal past was not the fault of her department's doing, but rather a failure of the juvenile justice system.
"The killing of Baltimore County police officer Amy Caprio, who was killed in the line of duty, is an unacceptable tragedy on so many levels. The entire State mourns the loss of a woman that sacrificed her life for the betterment of the community. Which is why I am more than appalled, disheartened, and perplexed, by the Secretary of The Department of Juvenile Services attempt to shift responsibility away from his department by blaming my office and my attorney's for the release of an alleged murderer. I categorically deny the accuracy of the secretary's statement about the action taken by both my office and the department and regret that both statute and court rules require secrecy regarding juvenile records," said Mosby.
According to the State's Attorney, when repeat juvenile offenders commit crimes such as car theft, burglary, and unauthorized use, they usually ask for the offender to be detained. They say that in a case in which it is decided that they require or impose community detention by electronic monitoring, it becomes a decision for the courts. Then the responsibility for monitoring the juvenile is in the hands of The Department of Juvenile Services.
Mosby asks that the Secretary of Juvenile Services review his part in this case that led up to this tragedy.
“What I can say is that we overall need to look at juvenile justice reform," Mosby said. " ... It is really important for us when we talk about juvenile justice reform, to pay attention to what happens in Annapolis.”
Mosby spoke of her office's efforts in Annapolis to work with the state legislature to reform policy, making it easier to hold juvenile offenders more accountable and less of a threat to the public. While they have had successes, like allowing the use of electronic monitoring on juveniles, other priorities have not been adopted, like starting juvenile offenders accused of violent acts like murder, rape, and carjacking, in the adult system and moving them to juvenile when appropriate, as opposed to the other way around.
More than anything, Mosby wanted to dispel assertions that the death of Caprio may have been linked to a failure by her office.
“It’s not a matter of finger pointing," Mosby said. "I’m merely responding to inaccurate assertions."