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Jury instructions

Sep 30, 2021

Changing hairdos can be destruction of evidence, Maryland appeals court says

Criminal suspects might be trying to “destroy evidence” when they substantially alter their hairstyle after the crime, Maryland's second-highest court says.

Apr 26, 2021

Md. high court faults CSI effect instruction, overturns conviction

A judge’s television crime drama-inspired jury instruction that prosecutors need not present forensic evidence to prove guilt was a harmful error, Maryland’s top court ruled Friday in overturning a man’s robbery and assault conviction and 30-year prison sentence. In its 5-2 decision, the Court of Appeals said the judge’s instruction had unfairly tipped the scales […]

Sep 9, 2020

Md. high court opens term: Billboards, rap lyrics, CSI effect on docket

Maryland’s top court Thursday opens the public sessions of its 2020-2021 term, during which it will consider the constitutionality of Baltimore’s tax on billboard operators, whether a judge properly admitted into evidence the violent rap lyrics of an accused killer and if a judge’s TV drama-inspired jury instruction that prosecutors need not present forensic evidence […]

Mar 26, 2020

Court of Appeals will review judge’s ‘CSI effect’ jury instruction

Maryland’s top court will consider whether a judge’s television crime drama-inspired jury instruction that prosecutors need not present forensic evidence to prove guilt was a harmless mistake, given that the victim’s compelling testimony left jurors with no reasonable doubt that the defendant had robbed and assaulted her.

Dec 23, 2019

Md. high court reinstates Baltimore murder conviction

A divided Maryland high court last week reinstated a man’s first-degree felony murder conviction, saying his attorney’s failure to request a jury instruction on the defense of alibi did not affect the jurors’ guilty verdict — even though four people had testified at trial that he was most likely not at the 2003 slaying. Had […]

Jan 22, 2019

Md. high court overturns child-abuse conviction

ANNAPOLIS – Saying the jury was improperly instructed on the violent crime’s elements, a divided Maryland high court has overturned the first-degree child abuse conviction of a father who allegedly wrapped his son in plastic and tied his wrists to prevent him from harming himself and attacking his siblings. In its 5-2 decision Friday, the […]

Jan 30, 2018

Entrapment claim by Oaks a ‘big bet,’ legal observers say

State Sen. Nathaniel T. Oaks is asking a federal judge to include a jury instruction on entrapment in his bribery and fraud case.

Dec 28, 2016

Use-or-lose objections to advisory instructions began in 1980, court says

Criminals seeking to overturn post-1980 convictions based on “advisory” jury instructions are out of luck if their attorneys failed to object at trial, court says.

Jul 28, 2015

Court of Appeals limits jury instruction on witness’ credibility

Criminal-defense attorneys say they have lost an arrow in their quiver of methods to challenge the credibility of prosecution witnesses who receive benefits in return for their trial testimony.

Jul 13, 2015

Appeals court overturns child sex abuse conviction

A Maryland appeals court has overturned the conviction and 41-year prison sentence of a man accused of sexually abusing a pre-teen neighbor, saying he was denied his constitutional right to adequately cross examine the boy at trial and that the judge’s instruction to the jury improperly presumed a crime had been committed.

May 12, 2015

State urges Md. high court to overturn Unger decision

ANNAPOLIS — The judges on Maryland’s top court were unusually silent Tuesday as an attorney for the state urged them to overturn their controversial 2012 decision that reopened courthouse doors to many inmates convicted of violent crimes before 1980. But the Court of Appeals’ seven judges remained just as stoic when a defense attorney pressed […]

Feb 12, 2015


Pham’s sentence for violation of a protective order by possession of a firearm must merge into his sentence for possession of a regulated firearm. We shall affirm in all other respects.

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