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LEWIS MARSELLOUS CHAMBERLAIN v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure  — Voir dire — Defendant’s right not to testify

Lewis Marsellous Chamberlain, appellant, was convicted, following a jury trial in the Circuit Court for Washington County, of both possession and distribution of heroin and was sentenced to forty years’ imprisonment, with all but twenty-five years suspended, to be followed by three years’ probation.

He then noted this appeal, raising two issues: I. Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it refused to ask jurors whether they would be biased against Chamberlain if he chose not to testify. II. Whether the trial court committed plain error by failing to declare a mistrial after the prosecution’s key witness informed the jury that Chamberlain had a history of drug use and had been on probation at the time of the charged offenses.

Read the opinion