Category Archives: Criminal Law

More Good Criminal Justice News

It’s a twofer this afternoon. In addition to the Supreme Court’s ruling on life without parole for juveniles, President Obama announced yesterday that he has issued executive orders outlawing solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons. President Obama on Monday announced a ban on solitary confinement for juvenile offenders in the federal prison system, saying the practice is overused and has… Read more »

A Supreme Court Win

Doesn’t happen as often as it should, and there are some really bad ones coming down the pike, but yesterday the Court ruled 6-3 that its earlier ruling that mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles is unconstitutional also applies retroactively. As many as 1500 inmates around the country are serving mandatory life without parole sentences assessed while they were… Read more »

MD House Overrides Hogan Veto On Drug Paraphernalia 

The House of Delegates today overrode another Larry Hogan veto, this time of a bill to eliminate criminal penalties for possession of marijuana paraphernalia. The vote was 86-55 (one vote to spare this time). Governor Hogan claimed that this bill would legalize driving while impaired by marijuana. Bobby Zirkin this week claimed that Hogan was lying - it appears that the… Read more »

Zirkin: Hogan “Lying” About Drug Paraphernalia Bill

Senator Bobby Zirkin, chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, called out Governor Larry Hogan for “lying” about SB517, a bill vetoed by Hogan that would decriminalize possession of marijuana paraphernalia. The sponsor of a bill decriminalizing drug paraphernalia is accusing Gov. Larry Hogan of lying about the bill in order to thwart a veto override vote scheduled for Thursday. Sen. Robert… Read more »

Police Reform Workgroup Recommendations Issued 

The General Assembly’s Workgroup on Public Safety and Policing Issued its recommendations yesterday, just in time for the start of the legislative session tomorrow. This Post article has a good summary of the situation and some reactions. A Maryland legislative panel on Monday offered sweeping changes in police policies, including giving officers periodic psychological evaluations and allowing the public to attend police… Read more »

No Tamir Rice Indictment

Bet you’re shocked by this news. After more than a year of investigation, a Cleveland grand jury declined to bring charges against either of the two police officers involved in the November 2014 shooting of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was playing with a toy weapon in a park. Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced the decision Monday… Read more »

The Most Important Veto Override

In 16 days, the General Assembly goes back to work. There will be many story lines, not least of which seeing how things go for the five officeholders who are running for Congress in CD4 and CD8. But the first order of business for the legislature will be the prospect of whether to override Governor Larry Hogan’s four vetoes. There… Read more »

More On Money Bail In Maryland

I wrote about the problems with Maryland’s bail system in criminal cases back in September. Summary: our system sucks. One thing I didn’t write about back then was the current legislative stalemate over how to fix the system following a court ruling. A quick history primer: Back in 2012, the Court of Appeals held that, contrary to what was actually happening,… Read more »

Our Dystopian Local Governments 

This story is just appalling. How local political infighting led to competing police forces, the issuance of tickets for municipal infractions to bolster the budget of one side of the dispute, the rank conflicts of interest that permeate rural towns (particularly in the South), and the hiring of clearly unqualified and dangerous police officers (one of whom was previously charged -… Read more »

Think We’ve Solved All The LGBTQ Issues?

Guess again. This shocked even me, and I’m pretty jaded about criminal law and LGBTQ issues. It may shock you to learn that 40 percent of the young girls incarcerated in juvenile detention center identify as LGBT. Like the unbelievable number of homeless youth who identify as queer, LGBT young people are also disproportionately affected by systems of power that can… Read more »