Appellate Courts

Md. high court: Prior-conviction admissibility ruling must come early

The Court of Special Appeals building.
(Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)

Except in rare circumstances, trial judges must decide whether criminal defendants’ prior convictions can be admitted as impeachment evidence before they choose to testify, lest the uncertainty of admissibility have a chilling effect on their right to speak in their own defense, Maryland’s top court ruled Wednesday.

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