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Crucial election: Looking at State Attorney's role in Baltimore's crime fight

Marilyn Mosby
Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 18:53:06-04

BALTIMORE — The crucial election for the city's top prosecutor is just around the corner.

WMAR-2 News took a look at the role of the State's Attorney in Baltimore's crime fight.

While crime scene tape stretches throughout just about every corner of the city, the fight regarding who puts an end to it continues.

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We are just three months away from the primary for Baltimore City's top prosecutor. Candidates Thiru Vignarajah and Ivan Bates battle it out for the Democratic ticket with Democratic incumbent Marilyn Mosby who's facing a battle of her own in federal court.

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"It doesn't affect my election. I've been victorious every single time they've come for me. I'll be victorious again. I've won every single time. State ethics, state board of elections, suits, harassments I've won every time. I'll win this time,” Mosby told WMAR2 News Thursday while leaving court.

Mosby shows an unwavering confidence for winning at the ballot box. The battle in reducing Baltimore’s persistent violence is a separate fight.

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Since Mosby was voted into office, the city has seen 300-plus homicides.

However, WMAR-2 asked practicing Attorney Andrew Alperstein if that statistic is a reflection of her office.

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"The state's attorney is really the chief law enforcement officer for the jurisdiction so that's somebody that everybody's looking up to for integrity vigor, honesty that they're going to work hard to keep everybody safe," Alperstein said. "Now what we're seeing is an average of 330 murders a year for 8 years so you're approaching a thousand more human beings that aren’t on the Earth under her watch. That's a big problem. That's a really big problem."

The lawyer has successfully defended clients prosecuted by the State's Attorney's office and saids the high turnover rate, and inexperience as a result gives him and some of his colleagues a stronger advantage defending their clients.

"What you see, it's not just me but other defense attorney's we talk to," Alperstein said. "The prosecution, you have less experienced lawyers so they're coming into court with less skills and less preparation and when you try cases and people aren't prepared bad things happen."

While Mosby fights a battle in both directions, prosecuting defendants and defending herself, her ability to balance it all while leading a team of prosecutors is what's in question for voters this summer.

"What's critical about what they do is they prosecute crimes and theyre suppose to be fair about it and if people lose trust in that, that's a big problem,” Alperstein said.

Voters will decide July 19 who will get the nomination heading into the general election coming up in November.