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Brown Law Blog

  May 14, 2018 Today the State filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Maryland Court of Appeals. Essentially, the State is asking Maryland’s highest court to allow it to appeal — once more — the decision to grant Adnan Syed a new trial. This move by the State does not come as a surprise to us. The State is appealing the alibi issue, in which the Court of Special Appeals found that

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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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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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