Who is Scott Shellenberger?
Scott was born and raised in Baltimore County. His dad was a small business owner. His mom was a stay at home mom until tough economic times required her to work in a jewelry store. They had a great middle class life. Scott is a graduate of Loch Raven High School, Loyola College and the University of Baltimore School of Law. Scott put himself through college working at K-Mart before he landed a job as a law clerk in the State’s Attorney’s Office after his first year of law school.
From there, he worked full time as a law clerk while going to law school in the evening. He fulfilled a lifelong dream when elected State’s Attorney for Baltimore County in 2006, and was re-elected in 2010, 2014 and 2018. Since his election, Scott has fought for justice, fairness, and accountability in the criminal justice system.
Scott began his legal career in the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office working as a law clerk while attending law school. Upon being admitted to the Bar in 1985, Scott began working as a prosecutor where he quickly gained a reputation as an aggressive and tireless advocate for victims of crime. A highly skilled and effective litigator, Scott quickly moved through the ranks in the State’s Attorney’s Office. In addition to trying homicides, rapes, and child abuse, Scott served as supervisor of the Felony Screening, Career Criminal and Automobile Manslaughter Units. As Chief of the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Division, Scott protected the most vulnerable members of our community.
Scott left the State’s Attorney’s Office in 1993 and entered private law practice where he litigated cases on behalf of people seriously injured by exposure to asbestos. He battled for working class families against powerful corporations to obtain them just compensation. He tried dozens of mesothelioma cancer cases representing the families of those who died from exposure to asbestos. He left the Law Office of Peter Angelos when he was elected State’s Attorney in 2006.
While serving as State’s Attorney for Baltimore County, Scott has participated actively in various policy organizations including the Baltimore County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Association and the Baltimore County Bar Association.
Because of Scott’s unwavering commitment to the people, he has been appointed to multiple statewide panels and task forces:
Member of Task Force on Facial Recognition. The task force is composed of members of the State Legislature, Public Safety, Public Defenders, and manufactures representatives. The task force is to review the technology, literature, and privacy rights and make recommendations to set guardrails for the use of the technology in the State to make sure the use of this tool is done so fairly.
Member of Baltimore County Work Group on Equitable Policing. This group was formed to examine policing policies and practices and make recommendations for ensuring equitable policing in Baltimore County.
Member of Genetic Genealogy Work Group. A panel of professors, geneticists, law enforcement, and State’s Attorney’s working to find an appropriate balance between public safety and a constitutional right to privacy while allowing the use of genetic genealogy resources to solve serious crimes. The group came up with a bill that turned into House Bill 240, which passed and became law on October 1, 2021. It was a first in the nation law that regulates how law enforcement can search consumer genealogical databases in connection with a criminal investigation in a fair and equitable way.
Member of the Juvenile Justice Reform Council. This Council is charged with:
Using data to develop a statewide framework of policies to invest in strategies to increase public safety and reduce recidivism of youth offenders.
Researching best practices for the treatment of juveniles.
Identifying and making recommendations to limit risk factors that contribute to juvenile contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
Improve and increase community treatment options to keep more juveniles in their communities.
Member to the Task Force to study Crime Classification and Penalties. The task force is to study and make recommendations on issues related to the classifications of and penalties for criminal and civil violations in the State.
Appointed to the Maryland Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Policy and Funding Committee. The Committee is responsible for developing and disseminating best practices and recommendations regarding DNA SAFE kits testing, retention, availability and funding; stakeholder coordination; the shortage of forensic nurses; and victim notification.
Scott became a member of the Task Force to study Erroneous Convictions and Imprisonment. He was the Chair of the Task Force. This Task Force developed the principles that led to a law to compensate those wrongfully convicted.
Member of the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board. Board that makes sure the Justice System is fair and balanced.
Member of the Governor’s Council on Gangs and Violent Criminal Networks.
Member of Maryland Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council. Members meet to craft a framework of sentencing and corrections policies in the State with a goal of safely reducing the number of inmates in Maryland prisons, reducing spending on prisons, and reinvesting those savings in strategies’ to increase public safety.
Maryland's highest court, the Court of Appeals, appointed Scott to two three-year terms on the Rules Committee. This Committee makes recommendations to the Court of Appeals on which Rules of the Court should be amended or added.
Member of the Governor’s Commission to Reform Maryland’s Pretrial System to assure fewer defendants are held in jail, awaiting trial, if safe to do so.
A Task Force to Study the Laws and Policies of the Public Defender to improve access to justice for all defendants.
Member of the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council for Baltimore County