Tag Archives: voir dire

Justices decline Westminster robber’s ineffective-counsel appeal

FILE - In this June 17, 2019 file photo, The Supreme Court in Washington. A divided Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to put in place a policy connecting the use of public benefits with whether immigrants could become permanent residents. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a convicted Westminster armed robber’s argument that his trial attorney’s failure to exclude from the jury a juror who had acknowledged potential bias against accused thieves rendered the conviction invalid despite the ...

Read More »

Md. high court weighs mandatory jury questions

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

ANNAPOLIS – Maryland’s top court appears poised to overturn its longstanding precedent and require judges to specifically ask prospective jurors if they can presume the defendant is innocent, require the prosecution to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and ...

Read More »

Appeals court affirms $130k verdict against officer for 2015 arrest

(JanPietruszka / Depositphotos.com)

The Court of Special Appeals affirmed a $130,000 jury verdict against a Baltimore Police Department officer Monday, finding the trial judge did not abuse her discretion in refusing to ask a proposed question regarding pretrial publicity about the department. Jurors ...

Read More »

Md. high court: ‘Strong feelings’ voir dire question must be unadorned

“Here, we unequivocally hold that, despite the circumstance – and our recognition – that jury nullification sometimes occurs, jury nullification is not authorized in Maryland and a jury does not have the right to engage in jury nullification,” Judge Shirley M. Watts wrote for the high court majority. (The Daily Record/File Photo)

Attention Maryland circuit court judges: The only way for you to ask prospective jurors if they have strong feelings about the crime charged is to ask them – without elaboration – “Do you have strong feelings about” the crime charged. ...

Read More »

Md. high court strikes professions-laden voir dire inquiry

Maryland Court of Appeals. (file)

A trial judge, in seeking to discover prospective jurors’ biases regarding a police officer’s testimony, went too far by asking them their feelings not only of law enforcement’s veracity but the truthfulness of doctors, clergy, firefighters, psychiatrists, social workers and ...

Read More »

Court of Appeals recommends MSBA committee’s work on voir dire

Maryland judges have significant latitude in how to conduct voir dire, but one method recently received a seal of approval from state’s top court. Writing for a unanimous Court of Appeals last month, Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera included “a ...

Read More »