Conviction overturned, but woman still in jail

May 01, 1992|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Staff Writer

Joyce Danna remains in prison, although her 15-year-old murder conviction was overturned April 8 and a Baltimore County Circuit Court ordered her freed on $25,000 bond.

Rachel Wohl, Mrs. Danna's lawyer, said her client's family and friends have not been able to post bail.

Ms. Wohl said a fund set up by the House of Ruth, a shelter for battered women, has raised nearly $2,000, almost the 10 percent a bail bondsman requires.

But the lawyer said she had expected Mrs. Danna to be freed immediately after Judge Thomas J. Bollinger set bail during a hearing five days after the conviction was overturned. Mrs. Danna has spent 14 years at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women.

Mrs. Danna was sentenced to life in prison in 1978 after she was convicted by a Baltimore County Circuit Court in 1977 in the fatal shooting of her husband, Louis J. Danna, 30, a Baltimore police officer.

The conviction was overturned by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the state's second-highest court, which ruled that the trial judge made an extraordinary error in instructing the jury by suggesting that each of them did not have to find that she was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ms. Wohl said anyone interested in helping Mrs. Danna may send contributions to the House of Ruth-Joyce Danna Fund, 2201 Argonne Drive, Baltimore 21218.

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