editorial advisory board

Apr 28, 2023

Openness and bond hearings

Injustice happens in empty courtrooms. If any proof of the validity of this maxim were needed, one need only read the 21-page report “Inside Prince George’s County Bond Hearings” just released by Howard University’s Movement Lawyering Clinic. After observing hundreds of bond hearings over two years, participants witnessed: “[J]udges dismissing defendants’ needs for medical attention [&[...]

Mar 30, 2023

Guaranteeing the right to abortion in Maryland

The Maryland General Assembly Thursday gave final legislative approval to the creation of a referendum asking voters whether to codify a right to abortion into the state constitution. This issue now heads to voters in the 2024 election. We support both the referendum initiative and also the amendment of the state constitution for this purpose. […]

Mar 28, 2023

Easing Maryland’s horrid ER wait times

Baltimore is one of the country’s preeminent health care cities. Yet studies have shown that hospitals here as well as all Maryland hospitals have the longest wait times in their emergency departments for seven years running. The legislature has put forth HB274/SB387 to find out why. SB387 proposes creating a task force to study the […]

Mar 24, 2023

Maryland lawmakers should vote yes on ‘The YES Act’

The Youth Equity and Safety Act, SB93/HB96, seeks to eliminate the practice of automatically charging minors as adults in Maryland.  The proposed bipartisan bill would end the practice by repealing statutory provisions that prevent cases from beginning in the juvenile court for children alleged to have committed certain offenses. Under current law, children as young […]

Mar 2, 2023

There’s a downside to our reliance on plea bargains

The American Bar Association’s 2023 Plea Bargain Task Force Report communicates there are many benefits of plea bargaining in the criminal justice system, including the preservation of resources and a mechanism to induce defendants to cooperate and to accept responsibility for their actions. As well, plea bargains can be used to avoid some of the […]

Feb 16, 2023

As bar counsel, Lydia Lawless served the state superbly

On March 17, Lydia E. Lawless will step down as Maryland Bar Counsel after having served in that post since 2017.  We wish Lawless much success in whatever her next professional endeavor may be.  We have no doubt that any future undertaking will be highly successful, given her stellar career achievements to date. The current […]

Feb 3, 2023

We’ve lost confidence in the US Supreme Court

Although we have confidence in the integrity of the Supreme Court of Maryland, sadly, we no longer  have the same confidence in the integrity of our nation’s high court. There is much blame to go around, but most of it lies at the feet of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. The latest episode in […]

Jan 27, 2023

Amend Maryland’s probation before judgment law

During the 2022 General Assembly session, we urged passage of House Bill 559/Senate Bill 265, to broaden the scope of the current Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) law. The bill had broad support, was favorably passed in both chambers, but unfortunately perished in the waning moments of the legislative session. The bill is back this session, […]

Jan 19, 2023

State’s Attorney Bates should keep these 2 units

Early last week Ivan Bates was sworn in as the new state’s attorney in Baltimore City. His first announced change to the office once headed by Marilyn Mosby was to do away with his predecessor’s policy of not prosecuting low-level criminal offenses, such as marijuana possession and prostitution. Bates has made clear that prosecuting these […]

Jan 13, 2023

Editorial Advisory Board: News organizations need to get involved in rule discussion

On Jan. 6, 2023, the Supreme Court of Maryland unanimously referred a proposed rule on the distribution and broadcast of official criminal trial audio recordings back to the Maryland Judiciary Rules Committee for further consideration. We applaud that decision, which reflected the recommendation of the committee chair, Alan Wilner, and we urge the news media […]

Dec 15, 2022

Editorial Advisory Board: When guns harm democracy

The Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller considered the Second Amendment to be an offshoot of Anglo-American common law. And as such, Heller made clear that the government had the authority to regulate weapons; the right to keep and bear arms was subject to what it referred to as longstanding prohibitions, holding, “like […]

Nov 15, 2022

Editorial Advisory Board: The NextGen bar exam

It’s coming. Beginning next fall, every student entering Maryland law schools is likely to take a Next Generation Bar Examination following graduation. In fact, there are some students already in law school whose future licensure may be determined by their performance on the NextGen exam. Deans and faculty at both law schools have already begun […]

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