Hennepin County Attorney
Mary Moriarty’s passion for a criminal justice system that is fair for everyone and truly brings justice for all started during her childhood in small town Minnesota. The concept of public safety was understood quite differently there. The community was connected in every way.
She spent 31-years as a public defender in Hennepin County, where she dedicated her career to improving lives and seeking justice for the people. She became a world-class trial attorney, tried scores of cases in Hennepin County courtrooms, and had a case go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously in her client’s favor. In 2014, Mary was appointed as Hennepin County’s first female Chief Public Defender.
A fierce advocate for fighting systemic injustices while expecting the highest ethical standards from those in power, Mary’s team put a spotlight on racial biases in the criminal legal system. In 2018, the office exposed that low-level marijuana stings in Hennepin County overwhelmingly targeted Black residents. Her work forced an end to the stings. Studies conducted by her office in 2018 and 2020 revealed Black residents are also overwhelmingly more likely to be stopped by police officers during routine traffic stops and that Black drivers are searched at a much higher rate after being pulled over for moving and equipment violations.