Erek Barron

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Erek Barron
United States Attorney for the District of Maryland
Assumed office
October 7, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byRobert K. Hur
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 24th district
In office
January 14, 2015 – October 7, 2021
Preceded byDarren Swain
Succeeded byFaye Martin Howell
ConstituencyPrince George's County, Maryland
Personal details
Born1974 (age 48–49)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Residence(s)Bowie, Maryland, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Maryland, College Park (BA)
George Washington University (JD)
Georgetown University (LLM)

Erek Lawrence Barron (born 1974)[1] is an American attorney and politician serving as the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland since 2021. He is a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates from the 24th district.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Barron was born in Washington, D.C., and attended the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. In 1996, he graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Three years later, he earned a Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School and was admitted to the Maryland Bar the same year. He later earned a Master of Laws, with a focus on International Law and National Security Law, from Georgetown University Law Center.[3]


Barron has worked for the Maryland law firm of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston and is a member of the American Bar Association. Barron is a former prosecutor and has worked as an assistant state's attorney for Prince George's County and Baltimore City (2001–2006), a trial attorney in United States Department of Justice (2006–2007), and counsel and policy advisor to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Senator Joe Biden (2007–2009).[3]

Maryland legislature[edit]

Barron first won election to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2014. He was sworn into office on January 14, 2015.[2] In 2015, he and three other male legislators joined the Women's Legislators of Maryland Caucus, becoming the first men to join a women's caucus in the United States.[4]

In 2019, Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates Adrienne A. Jones appointed Barron to chair the Joint Committee on Fair Practices.[5] In this capacity, he investigated the circumstances surrounding the $238,250 severance package paid to Roy McGrath, the former director of the Maryland Environmental Service and the chief of staff of Governor Larry Hogan.[6] Barron later recused himself from the McGrath case after becoming U.S. attorney, citing his role in the investigation.[7]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Co-chair, Joint Committee on Fair Practices and State Personnel Oversight, 2019–2021[2]
  • Member, Health and Government Operations Committee, 2015–2021 (health facilities & occupations subcommittee, 2015–2016; government operations & long-term care subcommittee, 2015–2017; estates & trusts subcommittee, 2016–2017; government operations & estates & trusts subcommittee, 2017–2019; public health & minority health disparities subcommittee, 2017–2021; government operations & health facilities subcommittee, 2020–2021)[2]
  • Member, Legislative Policy Committee, 2020–2021[2]

U.S. attorney for Maryland[edit]

Barron speaks at a press conference on violent crime in Baltimore with Mayor Brandon Scott (left) and Governor Larry Hogan (right), 2022

On July 26, 2021, Barron was nominated to be the United States attorney for the District of Maryland.[3][8] On September 23, 2021, his nomination was reported out of committee by voice vote.[9] On September 30, 2021, his nomination was confirmed in the United States Senate by voice vote.[10] On October 7, 2021, he was sworn into office by Chief Judge James K. Bredar.[11] He is Maryland's first black U.S. attorney.[12]

On August 24, 2022, Barron announced a $3.5 million plan for addressing violent crime in Baltimore, which included new hires for the office's violent and organized crime section and pursuing repeat violent offenders "for any and all wrongdoing that meets our priorities, especially fraud."[13][14]

Political positions[edit]

Criminal justice[edit]

During the 2016 legislative session, Barron pushed for the Justice Reinvestment Act to include a repeal of mandatory minimum sentencing laws.[15] In March, the House Judiciary Committee voted 17–3 to adopt the "Barron-Wilson amendment"[15] repealing mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenders while increasing penalties for leaders of gangs and organized crime.[16] He also introduced legislation to prohibit public and private colleges and universities from including questions about criminal history on their applications.[17]

In August 2016, Barron and four other state legislators sent a joint letter to Attorney General Brian Frosh to review the constitutionality of setting bail without considering whether a defendant could afford to pay under the 14th Amendment. The Attorney General's office responded to the letter in October by issuing an opinion stating that such a system was a possible violation of due process.[18] In November, the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Maryland Court of Appeals voted 18–5 to recommend a policy change to prohibit Maryland judges from setting bail that is too high for defendants to pay unless the defendant is considered a flight risk or a danger to society.[19] In February 2017, the Court of Appeals voted unanimously to adopt the rule change.[20] During the 2017 legislative session, Barron sought to enshrine the court rule change into law.[21]

During the 2019 legislative session, Barron introduced legislation to ease the process for prosecutors looking to overturn convictions deemed to be tainted or unjust. The bill passed[22] and became law.[23] He also introduced a bill to require county jails to provide addiction screening, counseling, and treatment with the use of methadone, Suboxone, and Vivitrol.[24] The bill passed and was signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan on May 13, 2019.[25]

During the 2020 legislative session, Barron introduced legislation to ease restrictions on when prosecutors could use hearsay evidence in cases of witness intimidation, and another bill to designate witness intimidation a crime of violence.[26]

National politics[edit]

In April 2019, Barron and state Senator James Rosapepe launched "Biden for Maryland", becoming the first two Maryland lawmakers to endorse his bid for president.[27]


In May 2016, Barron and Marc Korman released a list of Metro reform proposals, including ideas involving dedicated funding, the make-up of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board, and vendors in stations to boost revenue.[28][29] During the 2018 legislative session, he introduced legislation to raise the state's annual contribution to Metro by $125 million a year if Virginia and the Washington, D.C. agreed to do the same.[30]

Electoral history[edit]

Maryland House of Delegates District 24 election, 2014[31]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Carolyn J. B. Howard (incumbent) 25,869 34.1
Democratic Michael L. Vaughn (incumbent) 23,772 31.3
Democratic Erek Barron 23,450 30.9
Republican Cy Okoro 2,737 3.6
Write-in 116 0.2
Maryland House of Delegates District 24 election, 2018[32]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Andrea Harrison 38,365 36.7
Democratic Erek Barron (incumbent) 33,069 31.7
Democratic Jazz Lewis (incumbent) 32,406 31.0
Write-in 586 0.6


  1. ^ "Questionnaire for Non-Judicial Nominees" (PDF). United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Erek L. Barron, U.S. Attorney (Maryland)". Maryland Manual On-Line. Maryland State Archives. October 20, 2021. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "President Biden Announces Eight Nominees to Serve as U.S. Attorneys" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: The White House. July 26, 2021. Retrieved July 26, 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ Dvorak, Petula (April 9, 2015). "Men need to step up on 'women's issues' — and four did in Maryland". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  5. ^ Gaines, Danielle (September 6, 2019). "Speaker Jones Announces Dozens of Leadership, Committee Changes". Maryland Matters. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  6. ^ Kurtz, Josh (August 15, 2020). "Lawmakers Vow Review of Payout to Hogan's Chief of Staff". Maryland Matters. Retrieved April 4, 2023.
  7. ^ Gaines, Danielle E. (June 28, 2022). "Prosecutors: Governor's Former Chief of Staff Falsified Memo to Hogan About Severance Payment". Maryland Matters. Retrieved April 4, 2023.
  8. ^ Tucker, Eric (July 26, 2021). "8 US attorney picks by Biden would include historic firsts". WTOP-FM. Associated Press. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  9. ^ "Results of Executive Business Meeting – September 23, 2021" (PDF). United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  10. ^ "PN926 - Nomination of Erek L. Barron for Department of Justice, 117th Congress (2021-2022)". September 30, 2021. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
  11. ^ "Erek L. Barron Sworn-In as the 49th United States Attorney for the District of Maryland" (Press release). Baltimore, Maryland: U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland. October 7, 2021. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  12. ^ Fenton, Justin (October 7, 2021). "Former Del. Erek Barron sworn in to became Maryland's first Black U.S. Attorney". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  13. ^ Gaines, Danielle (August 24, 2022). "Barron outlines plan to use 'Al Capone model,' little-known statute to prosecute violent criminals". Maryland Matters. Retrieved August 24, 2022.
  14. ^ O'Neill, Madeleine (August 24, 2022). "Feds pledge to use $3.5M in state funding for new violence reduction initiatives". The Daily Record. Retrieved August 24, 2022.
  15. ^ a b Wiggins, Ovetta (June 1, 2016). "How Maryland came to repeal mandatory minimums for drug offenders". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  16. ^ Hicks, Josh; Wiggins, Ovetta (March 30, 2016). "Md. House committee approves repeal of some mandatory minimums". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  17. ^ Wiggins, Ovetta (February 27, 2017). "Taking a lawbreaking past out of college applications". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  18. ^ Wiggins, Ovetta (October 11, 2016). "Md. attorney general's office raises constitutionality questions about state's cash bail system". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  19. ^ Wiggins, Ovetta (November 18, 2016). "Bail reform in Maryland clears major hurdle". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  20. ^ Marimow, Ann; Wiggins, Ovetta (February 7, 2017). "Maryland's highest court overhauls the state's cash-based bail system". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  21. ^ Wiggins, Ovetta (March 16, 2017). "Changes to Md. bail system appear unlikely to pass General Assembly this year". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  22. ^ Fenton, Justin (April 10, 2019). "Maryland lawmakers pass bill to make it easier for prosecutors to overturn convictions". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  23. ^ "State's Attorney Mosby will ask courts to toss nearly 800 cases tainted by rogue Gun Trace Task Force cops". The Baltimore Sun. September 5, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  24. ^ Donovan, Doug (April 6, 2019). "Maryland legislature approves bill to expand use of medicines for addiction treatment in jails". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  25. ^ "Legislation - HB0116". Maryland General Assembly. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  26. ^ Prudente, Tim (January 17, 2020). "Baltimore prosecutors are struggling to prove witness intimidation. Marilyn Mosby pushes bill she says will change that". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  27. ^ Gaines, Danielle (April 25, 2019). "Two State Lawmakers Launch 'Biden for Maryland'". Maryland Matters. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  28. ^ Kraut, Aaron (May 16, 2016). "Giant Food to Remain in Westbard; Ideas for Fixing Metro; Post Sides Against Teacher Pay Raises". Bethesda Magazine. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  29. ^ Lublin, David (May 16, 2016). "Ideas for Metro". Seventh State. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  30. ^ McCartney, Robert (December 19, 2017). "Maryland Democrats to propose Metro funding bill, and Hogan's initial response is positive". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  31. ^ "Official 2014 Gubernatorial General Election results for House of Delegates". Maryland State Board of Elections. December 2, 2014.
  32. ^ "Official 2018 Gubernatorial General Election results for House of Delegates". Maryland State Board of Elections. December 11, 2018.

External links[edit]