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Criminal procedure — Writ of actual innocence — Need for a hearing

On January 15, 2000, Darryl Butler, Sr. (“Butler”) was murdered. Appellant, Chalmers Efram Smith (“Smith”), was arrested for that murder approximately four and one-half months later. On February 23, 2001, after a trial by jury in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Smith was convicted of first degree pre-meditated murder of Butler, use of a handgun in the commission of a violent crime or felony, and wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun. The trial judge sentenced Smith to life imprisonment for the first degree murder conviction and 20 years for the handgun crime, both sentences to be served consecutively. Smith filed a timely appeal from his convictions, but this Court, in an unreported decision filed on January 23, 2002, affirmed his convictions. Smith did not ask the Court of Appeals to issue a writ of certiorari. Thereafter, in an effort to overturn his convictions, Smith filed several petitions for post-conviction relief and a motion for new trial. Ultimately, however, these filings proved unsuccessful. Over twelve years after his convictions were affirmed by this Court, Smith, on November 12, 2015, filed a petition for writ of actual innocence in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. […]

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