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Three times is definitely no charm

 
It is rare that even serious criminal cases end up being tried three times. However, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals opinion last month in  Gary Smith v. State shows that errors in c…

Stepping up for access to justice

This week Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera of Maryland’s Court of Appeals announced the creation of a new department within the Maryland Judiciary called the Access to Justice Department.…

Rambling down the Potomac

Maryland and Virginia have been neighbors for over two centuries, and you would think that they long ago settled what were the actual boundaries between the two states.…

Heroin quacks like a proverb

The crime of possession of illegal narcotics with intent to distribute is a felony that in Maryland may be punishable by up to twenty years in prison, far more than simple misdemeanor possession.…

Musings on a local drug kingpin

Maryland’s Criminal Law Article includes among the laws criminalizing possession and sale of illegal drugs a “drug kingpin” statute.  The  law defines a “drug kingpin” as an “organizer, supe…

Don’t try to cut a deal with police

It is not unusual when watching police dramas to see a suspect in the interview room talking about cutting a plea deal. In the real world, plea negotiations can only happen when a defendant is communi…

Out of state tickets still count

Many people who hold a Maryland driver’s license may think that if they get a speeding ticket while driving in another state, they can just pay the fine and not worry about the violation affecting the…

Cell phones and the Fourth

It is rare that a case is reported from today’s Supreme Court that is a unanimous decision. However, the opinion last month in Riley v. California shows how the Court is willing to extend Fourth Amend…

The right to confront DNA expert

Under the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and Article 21 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights, a person charged with a crime has the right to confront the witnesses against him. In this day a…

Oh, jurors just want to go home

Although serving on a jury is one of most important functions a citizen can perform in this country, there is a reason it is commonly referred to as jury duty. Having to serve as a juror, particularly…