Primary Election 2018: Baltimore City State's Attorney | WYPR

Primary Election 2018: Baltimore City State's Attorney

Learn about the Baltimore City State's Attorney candidates' positions and hear from the candidates themselves in this roundup of WYPR coverage. Election day is June 26. Early voting runs until June 21. 

Find your polling place here

WYPR coverage of gubernatorial, State Senate and other races here.

The last day of campaigning for Baltimore City State’s Attorney has turned heated. Candidates are leaving nothing to chance.

Ivan Bates Campaign, Marilyn Mosby Campaign, and Thiru Vignarajah Campaign.

The race for Baltimore State’s Attorney has become one of the most contentious in the city’s history, and it’s anyone’s guess who will win the top prosecutor’s job.

Mosby: 'Nothing to Hide' on Conviction Rate

Jun 12, 2018

Incumbent Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has come under fire from her challengers for supposedly exaggerating her conviction rate. But Mosby insisted during an appearance on WYPR's Midday Monday that she’s not hiding anything.

Mosby has been touting a 90-plus percent conviction rate ahead of the June 26 primary. But her challengers say that rate doesn’t count cases she had to drop and that distorts the picture.

 

marilynmosby.com

Today we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates with Baltimore City State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby.  She is running for re-election in the Democratic primary that takes place on the 26th of this month.  Early voting begins on Thursday.  She is opposed by two other candidates, Ivan Bates and Thiru Vignarajah.  The winner of the primary will run unopposed in the general election.   

Marilyn Mosby drew international attention when she indicted six Baltimore police officers in the police-custody death of Freddie Gray in 2015.   None of those indictments resulted in a conviction, but Ms. Mosby points to a 95% conviction rate to date for her office overall.  The State’s Attorney’s office prosecuted more than 41,000 cases last year.

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 Vignarajah is 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.

photo by Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun

Today we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates...

Here in Baltimore, the city’s top prosecutor is the Baltimore City State’s Attorney, an elective position that's often in the eye of the storm surrounding some very high profile criminal cases.  The incumbent State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, attracted national attention with her decision to indict six officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray in 2015.  Mr. Gray died while in police custody.  None of the indicted officers were convicted of a crime.   

But while cases like those involving Freddie Gray get a lot of scrutiny, the State’s Attorney’s office prosecuted more than 41,000 cases in 2017.  The State’s Attorney oversees more than 400 people, including more than 200 lawyers, and the salary is the highest of any city employee.  It’s a big job, and there are two people challenging the incumbent for it in next month’s Democratic primary. 

Tom's guest for the hour today is one of those challengers. 

Ivan J. Bates is a veteran litigator, defense attorney and city prosecutor.  He earned his BA in journalism at Howard University in 1992 and got his Law Degree at William and Mary in 1995.  He was admitted to the Maryland bar that year and after clerking for Judge David B. Mitchell on the Circuit Court of Baltimore City, he served as an assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore, where he worked in the Juvenile Crime Division and later, the Homicide Division.  He started his own law practice in 2006.

marilynmosby.com

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s first three and a half years in office have been marked by contradictions. She successfully prosecuted a number of violent criminals, but came under fire as her cases against six city police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray fell apart. Mosby, who is running for re-election, says she wouldn’t do anything differently.

ivanbates.com

The former prosecutor turned defense lawyer who wants to become a prosecutor again--the city's top prosecutor--doesn't have much good to say about Marilyn Mosby. Most recently he slammed her use of officers from the now disbanded Gun Trace Task Force trials. Here's Bates outside of the State’s Attorney’s office in March.

Thiru Vignarajah Campaign

Vignarajah’s campaign video sounds like the trailer for a summer blockbuster movie.

“So we have to face facts, Baltimore is not the greatest city in America any more, but it can be," says Vignarajah in his campaign video with a full orchestra behind him.