(BALTIMORE – September 8, 2021) – About two hours ago, Attorney Roya Hanna posted her intentions to run to become the next Baltimore City State’s Attorney. The primary election is in June 2022. An attorney for the past 22 years, Hanna exclusively told BmoreNews, “I’ve been thinking about it for a while.”
She added, “It’s just time. I’m always concerned about our city and making it the best that it can be.”
She said that while COVID has limited the options a candidate would normally have, she and her team have planned a series of outreach efforts to spread the word about her campaign.
“I intend to be incredibly transparent. We’re going to do virtual town halls every Monday at 7 pm. We’re a little concerned about COVID, so we didn’t want to do a huge event. The whole goal is to get out there as much as possible but as safe as possible.”
Her father, who is Egyptian, came to the US in the 70s. That’s when he met her mom. As the daughter of missionaries, Hanna grew up all over the world, including Samoa, Tanzania, Czechoslovakia, Morocco, Canada, and Israel.
Interestingly, she was born in Haiti.
Even more, she is well aware of how Haiti is exploited and how it is dealing with the after-effects. Further, she is well aware that Haiti was the scene of the most successful slave insurrection in the Western hemisphere.
Why is she running? She stated, “I realize that Baltimore has broken the per capita murder rate in 2015, 2017, and 2019.”
She said that seemingly, the City has no idea of how to tackle this plaguing homicide issue.
She thinks she has the necessary experience to be more effective than the current State’s Attorney. And she believes in a more proactive approach where prosecutors are more hands-on, including meeting with the families of victims.
“I believe I can help point the office in the right direction,” she said.
She also wants “to expand the intake process, so when the police bring in a robbery case, prosecutors can get involved sooner and help strengthen the cases. If they are able to make cases stronger at the beginning, the chances of conviction increase.”
And she’s not just about locking up people. “One of the ways I want to make change is with diversion programs. I’m also focused on women re-entry, tackling human trafficking, and gun violence deterrence. For three years, I worked at the National Center for Community Prosecution where we taught people how to implement effective gun violence deterrence programs and community prosecution programs.”
In addition to being an attorney for the past two decades, she’s been a prosecutor for 12 years. That’s when she established her own practice in April 2015.
Hanna said that her diverse set of experiences affords her balance, to know things from both sides – as a prosecutor and as a criminal defense attorney.
Aware of Baltimore’s long list of unsolved murders, including Destiny Harrison, the 21-year-old salon owner killed in East Baltimore, she knows that cops are making fewer arrests these days.
But she is nonetheless optimistic. “We have the bad, but we also have a lot of activists, organizers, and good people devoting so much effort to making Baltimore better.”
Further, she is aware of the trauma in Baltimore. Mental health counseling and trauma assistance are important to her plan.
“80 to 90% of incarcerated women are victims of domestic or sexual abuse. There are so many high-profile cases of women being killed, and women doing the killing.”
Her biggest issue, however, is State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s conviction rate. “Of 402 felony convictions, 1,372 were nolle prosequi. Another 16 were dismissed. This comes off of her own website. That’s winning 22% of the cases.”