ANNAPOLIS -- The Court of Special Appeals overturned yesterday the rape conviction of a Washington man because it took prosecutors in Prince George's County more than seven years after his indictment to bring him to trial.
And all the while, the defendant, William Delanie Davidson, was a prisoner of the District of Columbia correctional system.
Maryland's second highest court called the delay "inexcusable," agreed that Davidson's constitutional right to a speedy trial had been violated and ordered the charges dismissed. But that doesn't mean Davidson will be on the streets soon. He's serving 65 years-to-life for an unrelated murder in Washington.
"This is one time they do the technically correct thing without endangering the community," said Edward Sobesky, the public defender who represented Davidson at the rape trial. Mr. Sobesky had argued before Davidson's trial that the charges should be dropped because of the delay, but he was rebuffed by Circuit Judge G. H. Hovey Johnson.