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Brown Law Blog

(Photo by Alan Chin)   A Montgomery County Circuit Judge ordered Lloyd Hall to be released from prison on Thursday – immediately – vacating a life-without-parole sentence and ending an injustice that had persisted for 34 years. Hall walked out of the courthouse in a new black suit around 1:15 p.m., and was greeted by a cheering crowd of family and supporters. Hall had been convicted in 1984 for burglary and related offenses. Because he

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November 20, 2018 The briefs are all in for what is probably the final appeal of the Syed case — to the Maryland Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state. You can read our filling, which addresses the cell tower issue, HERE. Oral arguments are set for November 29 at 10 am. They will be streamed live from the Annapolis courtroom (go to the Maryland Court of Appeals website). More to come soon! September

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Brown Law last week won a high-stakes post-conviction proceeding in Anne Arundel County when a Circuit Court Judge found that prosecutors had withheld critical evidence from the defendant. As a result, our client’s life sentence was vacated and a new trial ordered. This marks the sixth time the Firm has reversed a life sentence. The Judge granted the post-conviction petition on three separate grounds: one Brady violation and two claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.

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I get asked the question all the time. Why do you represent criminal defendants? Sometimes I ask myself. But this is why. I have sat in prison visiting booths with inmates serving life sentences whom I believed were innocent. I have stood side by side with guilty defendants who were better human beings than the people judging them. I have seen men plead guilty to crimes they did not commit – and face very long

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This week the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the legality of Brendan Dassey’s confession to the 2005 killing of Teresa Halbach, finding that it was voluntary and could be used against him at trial. To many of the millions of people who watched video of the confession in the Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer,” the appellate court’s conclusion was incomprehensible. Dassey was 16 years old at the time and it was apparent that

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Important changes are coming to Maryland’s expungement law. Starting October 1, 2017, more people than ever before will have the ability to have their criminal records expunged – in many cases, for free. In the criminal context, expungement refers to the removal of certain criminal records from public inspection – meaning that the general public will not have access to those records. Until recently, only charges that did not result in a conviction were eligible

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Brown & Nieto this week filed a federal habeas petition on behalf of Christopher Jones, who was falsely convicted in 2015 by allegedly corrupt Baltimore City Police officer Daniel Hersl. Jones has maintained his innocence since he was first arrested in Baltimore City and charged with drugs and a gun. According to Jones, Officer Hersl planted the evidence against him, and other officers wrote up a false police report. Rather than risk a very long

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Adnan Syed today filed his “Brief of Appellee/Cross-Appellant” with the Court of Special Appeals. To recap, on June 30, 2016, the Baltimore City Circuit Court vacated Syed’s conviction and granted him a new trial. The Baltimore City Circuit Court found that Syed’s trial counsel had been constitutionally ineffective, in violation of the Sixth Amendment, at Syed’s original trial in 2000. The State is appealing the Circuit Court’s ruling to the Court of Special Appeals. The State filed its

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The election of Donald Trump will have sweeping consequences for everyone, but perhaps no group should be more concerned than non-citizens who have criminal records. Trump has already stated that he will target this group, and, as president, he now has the means to follow through on his promise. Many of these non-citizens are legal permanent residents who have been here for a long time. In many cases they are productive members of the community,

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