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Tag Archives: Right to counsel

Md. top court: Pretrial letter satisfies discharge-of-counsel request

A defendant’s pretrial letter to the circuit court clerk’s office expressing dissatisfaction with his attorney triggers the requirement that a judge ask why and whether he wants to fire the lawyer, Maryland’s top court has unanimously ruled in overturning child sexual-abuse convictions.

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4th Circuit: Forfeited funds remain so on appeal

Convicts have no constitutional right to pay for appellate counsel with assets they forfeited to the U.S. government under a court order accompanying their convictions, a federal appeals court ruled Monday in rejecting a convicted Bowie drug dealer’s effort to ...

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Md. criminal defense group seeks Supreme Court review of murder conviction

A group of Maryland criminal defense lawyers has pledged its support for a U.S. Supreme Court review of a Silver Spring man’s murder conviction, saying the justices should hear more criminal appeals from state high courts that raise federal constitution ...

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Convicted Silver Spring killer seeks Supreme Court review of interrogation

A Silver Spring man convicted of murdering an old friend has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review and overturn the conviction, saying police failed to honor his constitutionally protected request for a lawyer made well before they began questioning ...

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States look to provide lawyers for the poor in civil cases

HARTFORD, Conn.  — A flood of poor defendants representing themselves — often ineffectively — in dire cases involving eviction, foreclosure, child custody and involuntary commitment has led to a push in legislatures to expand rights to free lawyers in certain ...

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Public defender, Judiciary battle over who determines defendants’ indigency

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender squared off Thursday against the state judiciary over legislation that would transfer the responsibility for determining if a criminal defendant qualifies for state-sponsored counsel from the OPD and give it to district court commissioners.

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Court of Appeals: Judges must appoint counsel if public defender is discharged

Circuit court judges must appoint counsel for indigent criminal defendants who fire, with the judges’ approval, not only their public defender but the Office of Public Defender and still want an attorney, Maryland’s top court has unanimously ruled.

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Bills would undo right to counsel at hearings

ANNAPOLIS — A proposal to amend the Maryland Constitution and remove the right to counsel at initial bail hearings is likely to go to a vote of the General Assembly this month now that the proposal has the support of a majority of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the influential chair of the House Judiciary Committee. If three-fifths of both the Senate and House approve the proposal, Maryland voters will have the chance in November 2016 to undo the state high court’s controversial decision that the Constitution requires the state to provide counsel for indigent people at the initial proceedings before district court commissioners.

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