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Thiru Vignarajah: Democrat for Baltimore State's Attorney

photo courtesy Thiru for Baltimore.

Continuing our series of Conversations with the Candidates, our focus today is on the Democratic primary election later this month for Baltimore City State’s Attorney Three candidates, including the incumbent, Marilyn Mosby, are competing in that race to be the city’s top prosecutor.

It’s a big job, overseeing more than 200 lawyers and tens of thousands of prosecutions every year, and it's a job our guest today would very much like to have. 

Thiru Vignarajahis a former prosecutor who’s spent most of his legal career in public service.  He was born in Baltimore to Sri Lankan immigrant parents, both of them Baltimore City public school teachers. Vignarajah himself is a product of the public school system, having gone from Edmondson Heights and Woodlawn High to Yale University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review . He went on to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and he served as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore, working under then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein. Vignarajah subsequently moved to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, where he headed the Major Investigations Unit.

In 2014, he was appointed Deputy Attorney-General for Maryland, under Attorney-General Brian Frosh, a position he left in 2016 to work on the transition team for the ill-fated Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.  

He is currently a litigation partner at the law firm DLA Piper in Baltimore, but he continues to act as the lead attorney for the State of Maryland in the post-conviction appeal of Adnan Syed, who was convicted of the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee in a case that became the subject of the popular podcast Serial.   

Thiru Vignarajah is 41 years old. He lives in Federal Hill. 

We streamed this conversation live on the WYPR Facebook page; you can view the video here.

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Rob is a contributing producer for Midday.