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Baltimore State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein on Thursday afternoon announced the creation of a new "major investigations" unit that will be tasked with building proactive cases against violent, repeat offenders.

To lead the unit, Bernstein landed a coup with the recruitment of Thiru Vignarajah from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland. Vignarajah is a graduate of Woodlawn High School who went on to attend Yale University and Harvard University, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He also clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

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"Research and data reveal that a relatively small number of violent, repeat offenders commit a disproportionately large amount of violent crime. By strategically and aggressively pursuing, prosecuting and imprisoning these individuals, we will have a dramatic impact on the level of violence in the city, and as a result make Baltimore a safer place to live and work."

Many of the major cases brought in federal court are a result of state-authorized wiretaps, and involve the cooperation of federal and local authorities. The new unit is expected to help specifically develop such cases.

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