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Maryland Office of the Public Defender

Natasha Dartigue
Sep 20, 2023

Maryland Public Defender: New study highlights need to reduce workloads

Effectively representing America's indigent defendants requires far more work hours by public defenders than previously thought, a new study found.

Jul 19, 2023

Quality-of-life citations back in Baltimore courts, bringing familiar problems

This is the citation docket's first week back in Baltimore. Low-level quality-of-life offenses are once again churning through the city's district courts.

Baltimore State's Attorney Ivan Bates announces a new citation docket to handle quality-of-life offenses. From left: Baltimore City Councilman Eric Costello, Sheriff Sam Cogen, Bates, MONSE Director Shantay Jackson, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison. (Madeleine O'Neill/The Daily Record)
Jun 1, 2023

Bates introduces citation docket for ‘quality-of-life offenses’ in Baltimore

Baltimore State's Attorney Ivan Bates announced a new citation initiative aimed at low-level quality-of-life offenses.

Dec 14, 2022

Maryland public defenders vote to join state workers’ union

Maryland public defenders voted Tuesday to unionize after a two-year effort.

Oct 21, 2022

Office of the Public Defender 50th Anniversary Gala set for Nov. 1

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender 50th Anniversary Gala will be held Nov. 1.

Mar 18, 2020

Baltimore prosecutors, defense, court work to reduce activity and decrease jail population

Criminal justice partners in Baltimore, which has the highest volume of criminal cases in the state, are working to reduce courthouse traffic, caseloads and the inmate population as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby told prosecutors Wednesday to drop all pending charges for drug possession, attempted distribution, prostitution, trespassing, mi[...]

Feb 24, 2020

Possible evidence theft at Salisbury PD prompts review of cases

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender announced Monday that it will launch an investigation into cases potentially affected by the recent announcement of possible thefts from the property room of the Salisbury Police Department. The department announced Feb. 14 in a press release that, during a recent audit of its property storage facility, it […]

Mar 11, 2018

Studies conclude cash bail down but reform still needed

Maryland’s new pretrial release rule dramatically decreased the use of cash bail but two recent independent studies concluded additional education and resources are needed. The Maryland Office of the Public Defender sent 64 volunteers to observe bail reviews in multiple jurisdictions last year as the rule went into effect July 1. It clarifies that judicial […]

Mar 30, 2017

Md. appeals court halts criminal trial to address internal affairs records spat

The Court of Special Appeals on Thursday temporarily stayed a Baltimore criminal trial so it can rule on a police officer’s motion to prohibit the defendant from questioning the officer about his internal affairs records. A Baltimore city judge ruled Wednesday that Deandre Spencer, charged with drug and firearms offenses, could cross-examine Sgt. Joseph Donato […]

Mar 22, 2017

Baltimore prosecutors: Role in hearing on access to internal affairs files ‘proactive’

Criminal defense attorneys celebrated a victory for transparency this week as they were given permission by a Baltimore city judge to attempt to introduce internal affairs records for a police sergeant into evidence in their clients’ cases. But statements from the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office claim that its “proactive” efforts led to a consolidated […]

Mar 21, 2017

Attorneys gain access to Baltimore police officer’s internal affairs records

Defense attorneys will seek to have evidence from more than 30 internal affairs records relating to a Baltimore police sergeant admitted in multiple criminal cases after a judge granted them access to the files last week. Attorneys for 20 defendants argued earlier this month in consolidated proceedings that records related to Sgt. Joseph M. Donato should […]

Jan 5, 2017

Program allows vacating of failure-to-appear warrants in Baltimore

Individuals who have active failure-to-appear warrants on misdemeanor offenses in Baltimore will have the opportunity to vacate the warrants and get a new court date scheduled through a program by the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law’s Access to Justice Criminal Defense Clinic. The FTA Second Chance Program will run weekdays in […]

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