Editor's Note: This is the first of three interviews with the candidates for Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office. They are being released in the order in which the candidates filed to run. 2 BMore reached out to incumbent Marilyn Mosby to take part in these candidate conversations. State's Attorney Mosby has not responded to our invitation.
One of the most watched races in the 2022 Maryland Primary election is for Baltimore City State's Attorney. Incumbent Marilyn Mosby faces two challengers in the Democrat Primary, Ivan Bates and Thiru Vignarajah. A third challenger, Roya Hanna, initially filed to run as a Democrat and then switched to an Independent. In this special episode of 2 BMore, host T.J. Smith sits down for a conversation with Candidate Hanna.
T.J. Smith is a retired police commander, former chief spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, former press secretary for the Baltimore County Executive, and a former Baltimore City mayoral candidate. More recently, Smith partnered with Jimmy’s Famous Fund where he assisted in raising more than $600,000 over the past year that was donated to small restaurants in Baltimore, children for a holiday experience, and the families of a police officer and firefighters killed in the line of duty. In addition to hosting the 2Bmore Podcast, Smith consults on government, leadership, and law enforcement issues. He is also a frequent guest on a national news outlet and TV One network programming.
Roya Hanna is a former prosecutor and gun violence prevention advocate running for Baltimore City State’s Attorney because she believes that we can and must do more to address the biggest challenges Baltimore faces.
In her last four years in the State's Attorney’s Office, Roya tried murder cases almost exclusively – and she never lost a homicide case. While in homicide, she would respond to the scene and interview witnesses, sometimes in the middle of the night, and guide the investigation to help make the strongest possible case. When dealing with nonviolent crimes, she learned to effectively use the tools that curb the cycle of incarceration, including with diversion programs, substance abuse treatment, and community service.
Now as a defense attorney, Roya has watched firsthand as some of her clients spend thousands of dollars and lose years of their lives awaiting trial, all for a crime that the state can never prove because there is insufficient evidence.
Roya spends time working with youth and working to clean up the city, and she is deeply concerned about the declining quality of life that she sees in the city. Roya believes that the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office can and should be doing more to reduce the homicide rate, end senseless gun violence, end human trafficking, increase transparency, and improve the lives of all city residents.