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SPORTS
By Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun | December 8, 2013
Moments after the Ravens' flailing defense suffered a series of late breakdowns that nearly cost them the football game on Sunday, the offense and special teams salvaged a dramatic victory. After the defense allowed touchdowns to Minnesota Vikings backup running back Toby Gerhart and rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson within a 42-second span at the end of the fourth quarter, the Ravens managed to pull out a 29-26 win at snow-covered M&T Bank Stadium through Jacoby Jones' kickoff return touchdown and Marlon Brown's game-winning touchdown catch.
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NEWS
By Thomas Maronick Jr | December 7, 2013
The Sun editorial on amending the bail system (" Better Bail ," Nov. 29) argues that changing the bail system from a financial-based system to a risk-based system would provide a fairer way of getting defendants to court regardless of financial status, but such a move would likely create many more problems that it will ever solve. Judges make decisions about bail with input from prosecutors, defense attorneys and pretrial investigators. The system we have now, while far from perfect, mandates that defendants who deserve release on some kind of bail will get a bail as long as there is a surety attached to them coming to court.
NEWS
By Doug Colbert | December 7, 2013
Changing a pretrial justice system challenges every principal player to do things differently. That's the situation Maryland's elected officials, judges, prosecutors, public defenders and pretrial investigators face as they encounter the most monumental transition in pretrial justice since the Supreme Court recognized a poor person's constitutional right to counsel in 1963. This fall the Maryland Court of Appeals issued a constitutional mandate that promised a public defender to poor people when their liberty is first at stake.
NEWS
November 29, 2013
Nearly half a million people crowding the nation's regional jails — two thirds of the jail population — are awaiting trial. Many of them are poor people of color incarcerated on non-violent, non-felony charges for an average of two weeks because they can't afford the price of freedom: the going bail rate for their alleged crime. For some, the time in lock-up means lost jobs and homes. Their children may have to move in with a non-parent, or their medical care may be interrupted.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan and The Baltimore Sun | November 21, 2013
Ross Ulbricht commissioned no fewer than six murders for hire earlier this year to protect his position as the operator of the sprawling online drug market Silk Road, according to federal prosecutors. The new accusations come as the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York prepares to argue before a judge this morning that Ulbricht should be denied bail. Two murder for hire plots authorities say Ulbricht put into motion were detailed in the charges against him, and the four new attempts are described in a filing federal prosecutors provided to the Baltimore Sun. Ulbricht is accused of running Silk Road over the course of more than two years and building it into the most popular place to buy drugs online.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | November 21, 2013
A federal judge in Manhattan denied bail Thursday to Ross Ulbricht after federal prosecutors alleged that he plotted six killings earlier this year to protect his position as the operator of the sprawling online drug market Silk Road. Assistant U.S. Attorney Serrin Turner said it's not clear whether five of the intended victims actually exist. But Turner argued that Ulbricht could not be released without endangering the public or running the risk that he would flee. He said the 29-year-old had explored obtaining citizenship in another country and ordered fake identity documents.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | November 15, 2013
Low-risk criminal defendants would no longer have to raise money for bail before trial under a sweeping overhaul of Maryland's centuries-old pretrial release system being considered by a panel set up by the General Assembly. In recommendations released this week, task force members said the state should scrap the system under which poor defendants often remain in jail while more affluent suspects can post bond and get out. The members urged that Maryland replace the system, which is derived from English common law, with one that detains defendants only if they are found to be a flight risk or danger to the community.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2013
The Maryland judiciary has formed a special task force to examine the implications of a Court of Appeals ruling that people charged with crimes should have access to public defenders at all bail hearings. The panel will be led by Baltimore District Judge John R. Hargrove, Jr., the judiciary said Friday. The state's justice system is reckoning with several aspects of the decision, including the potential that Maryland's busy public defenders will have to attend as many as 180,000 additional proceedings each year.
NEWS
September 27, 2013
Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance, in reference to the new Common Core curriculum that is being implemented this year, said, "We are building the plane as we fly it" ("Teachers complain about access to new curriculum," Sept. 23). When I taught mathematics in the school system, the curriculum planes were designed to deliver content that was best for students. We tested the planes (curricula) in the classroom and trained the pilots (teachers) before the planes were put in service.
NEWS
September 26, 2013
The Court of Appeals decision this week that criminal defendants have a right to counsel at court commissioner hearings raises all manner of practical difficulties for the state. Commissioner hearings can take place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and the Maryland Public Defender's Office estimates that it will take as many as 250 more attorneys to handle the workload. That will be expensive and difficult to manage. But it also serves to uphold a fundamental principle of our criminal justice system: No one should be deprived of his or her liberty without having access to counsel, and that right should not be contingent on a defendant's ability to pay for a lawyer.
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