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STERLING MELTON v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Voir dire — Question regarding strong feelings about firearm possession

Sterling Melton, appellant, was arrested and charged with one count of wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun, and one count of possession of a regulated firearm after having been convicted of a disqualifying crime. After a two-day jury trial in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, appellant was convicted on both counts. Thereafter, appellant was sentenced to concurrent terms of incarceration of seven years on the first count and five years on the second count.

On appeal, appellant presents three questions for our review, which we have rephrased:

1. Did the trial court err by not asking appellant’s requested voir dire question of “whether anyone had strong feelings about firearm possession[?]”

2. Did the trial court err by failing to comply with the procedure required by Batson v. Kentucky?

3. Did the trial court abuse its discretion by requiring appellant’s feet to be shackled during the rendition of the verdict?

Read the opinion here: