Carjacker seeks state payments for appeal Man was convicted in 1991 Basu murder

March 31, 1996|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,SUN STAFF

An attorney for a man found guilty of murder in the 1991 carjacking death of Pam Basu in Savage plans to argue in federal appeals court tomorrow that the state of Maryland must pay for transcripts his client needs to appeal his conviction.

Laurack D. Bray, a Washington attorney, said he plans to tell the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., that the U.S. Constitution requires Maryland to pay an estimated $9,000 to provide transcripts to Bernard Eric Miller, 20, the convicted killer.

Maryland's second-highest court ruled in December 1993 that state law entitles Miller to receive the documents at no cost while he is being represented by a lawyer who is not being compensated. The decision was reversed in rulings by the Maryland Court of Appeals and by a U.S. district judge in Baltimore.

Mr. Bray said that under the latter two rulings, Miller could get a free transcript only if he was represented by a public defender.

He said he has represented Miller pro bono and has been appointed by a state court to handle his appeal.

Evelyn O. Cannon, a Maryland assistant attorney general, said Miller would be able to get a free transcript by filling out a form at the public defender's office. Even then, she said, he would not have to be represented by a public defender.

Dr. Basu was killed when she was dragged down the street, entangled in a seat belt, as Miller and Rodney Eugene Soloman, 30, drove away in her car with her baby in the back seat.

Miller was 17 when he and Soloman, formerly of Washington, were convicted of first-degree murder. Miller received life in prison; Soloman received life without parole.

Pub Date: 3/31/96

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