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B & N BLOG

I recently spent the better part of five days sitting next to Adnan Syed. I had known him for about seven years, but this was the most time we had ever spent together. He was shackled in a four-point restraint so he could barely move. It must have been very uncomfortable. If it had been me, my legs and back would have cramped. Adnan insisted he was fine, and in the course of five days

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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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The Circuit Court for Baltimore City has denied Adnan Syed’s Motion for Release Pending Appeal. Judge Welch denied the Motion, in large part, because of the open status of the case in the appeals court. (The State is attempting to appeal Judge Welch’s Order vacating Syed’s conviction and granting a new trial; multiple applications for leave to appeal are pending). Judge Welch also denied Syed’s request for a hearing. Syed has already served more than 17 years in

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Adnan Syed today filed a Reply in support of his Motion seeking pretrial release. Syed seeks pretrial release following the Circuit Court’s Order vacating his conviction and ordering a new trial. The State opposed Syed’s Motion in a filing last week, and this is Syed’s Reply to the arguments raised by the State. To read the latest filing, click here: SYED’S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF PRETRIAL RELEASE

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Adnan Syed today filed a Motion seeking to be released on bail while the State’s appeal is pending and while he awaits a new trial. The Motion was prepared by Brown & Nieto and Hogan Lovells, and was filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court. The full Motion is available here: Motion for Release Pending Appeal The exhibits are available here: Motion for Release Exhibits 1-38 For media requests please contact Pamel Munoz at (312) 252-4115.

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The Firm is happy to announce that today we defeated a life sentence in federal court. Eleven years ago, while represented by different counsel, D.E. was sentenced to life imprisonment for a non-violent drug offense. Because he had at least two prior drug convictions, he received a mandatory life sentence, without the possibility of parole. It appeared as if he would die in a federal penitentiary. This morning, with his family watching from the gallery,

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Two prominent criminal defense organizations have moved for leave to file an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Adnan Syed, urging the Maryland Court of Special Appeals to deny the State’s appeal and push the case forward toward a new trial. The brief, drafted by Steven Klepper of Kramon & Graham in Baltimore, does not take a side on Syed’s guilt or innocence but notes that “[t]he only satisfactory way to resolve the debate between the believers

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