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Criminal procedure — Illegal sentence — Plea agreement

At separate times in 2013 through 2015, appellants Randy Morquell Brown, Timothy Larry Brown, Charles Lin Thompson and Elroy James Hawkins were sentenced by the Circuit Court for Charles County to serve mandatory minimum sentences without the possibility of parole for drug-related offenses. The sentences were imposed as part of binding plea agreements between the defendants and the State.

After the effective date of the Justice Reinvestment Act (“JRA”), Chapter 515 Laws of Maryland 2016, each appellant filed a motion to modify his sentence (or sentences as the case may be) on the drug-related charge or charges pursuant to Crim. Law § 5-609.1. In each case, the State’s Attorney opposed the motion, asserting that the court lacked the authority to modify the sentence without the State’s approval because the sentence had been imposed pursuant to a binding plea agreement. And in each case, the court denied the motion on that basis.

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