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By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | September 19, 2001
The state's highest court narrowly affirmed yesterday the death sentence imposed on Jody Lee Miles for the 1997 fatal shooting of a community theater director in Wicomico County. The Court of Appeals ruled 4-3 that the evidence used to convict Miles - including his confession - was legally obtained, even though he became a suspect only when police identified his voice in an illegally taped cell phone conversation. "We find it significant that the facts used by the police in questioning ... were all facts learned by the police through lawful investigative means," Judge Lynne A. Battaglia wrote.
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NEWS
By Jeff Barker and Jonathan Pitts, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2014
Convicted double murderer John Booth-El died in prison over the weekend, but a thorny debate outlived him: What should happen to the four other death-row inmates in legal limbo after the repeal of Maryland's capital punishment law? Booth-El's death, which authorities said appeared to be from natural causes, rekindled debate over whether the inmates - all convicted of murder and sentenced years ago - should have their terms commuted to reflect the state's new attitude toward the death penalty.
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NEWS
January 7, 1998
Maryland's top court overturned the death sentence yesterday of John Clifton Johnson, who killed a Cumberland grocer, but upheld his April 11, 1996, conviction for first-degree murder.It is the second time in three months that the Court of Appeals has ruled that the mitigating circumstance "youthful age" includes several factors that must be weighed in deciding a death sentence.Among those issues are the convicted killer's maturity, criminal behavior, work history and home environment. Allegany County Circuit Judge J. Frederick Sharer looked only at chronological age -- Johnson was 19 years and 2 months at the time of the April 19, 1995, slaying -- the seven judges wrote in a 26-page opinion.
NEWS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2013
Kirk Bloodsworth celebrated his 20th year of freedom Friday after he was wrongfully convicted of murder in Maryland and sentenced to death. On Saturday, he joined with activists to mark other anniversaries: 41 years since the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halted executions and 37 years (come Tuesday) since it allowed them to resume. Dozens who gathered in front of the court Saturday want to see the death penalty permanently abolished. They kicked off a four-day vigil and fast to bring attention to the cause.
NEWS
By Joel McCord and Joel McCord,Sun Staff Correspondent | December 8, 1990
ANNAPOLIS -- The Court of Appeals overturned yesterday the death sentence of James R. Trimble, who raped a 22-year-old Essex woman, beat her to death with a baseball bat, slit her throat from ear to ear and left her body in a blood-spattered cornfield.The unanimous court held that Trimble, who is retarded, may have been misled by Circuit Judge Cullen H. Hormes' explanation of Maryland's sentencing procedures in capital cases and thus did not voluntarily waive his right to have a jury decide his sentence.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | September 11, 2007
The federal appeals court in San Francisco upheld yesterday a death sentence from a jury that had consulted the Bible's teachings on capital punishment. In a second decision on the role of religion in the criminal justice system, the same court ruled Friday that requiring a former prisoner on parole to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous violated the First Amendment's ban on government establishment of religion. In the case decided yesterday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals split 9-6 on the question of whether notes, including Bible verses prepared by the jury's foreman and used during sentencing deliberations, required the reversal of the death sentence imposed on Stevie L. Fields in 1979.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | December 12, 2000
A Charles County judge has vacated the 1996 death sentence imposed on a Randallstown handyman convicted in the slaying of a 19-year-old student during a burglary of her parents' Baltimore County home. Wallace Dudley Ball, 39, was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Debra Anne Goodwich on Sept. 30, 1994. Goodwich, a Catonsville Community College student, was visiting her family's home in Stevenson when she apparently interrupted a burglary and was shot six times, police said. Ball was sentenced to death by Judge Joseph S. Casula, a Prince George's County judge assigned to hear the case.
NEWS
By Patrick A. McGuire and Patrick A. McGuire,Staff Writer | December 20, 1992
Sunday's editions of The Sun incorrectly included a photograph of Vernon Evans III in a graphic depicting prisoners on Maryland's death row. The graphic should have shown his father, Vernon Evans Jr., but the Baltimore County state's attorney's office inadvertently provided the photograph of the son.The Sun regrets the error.He has spent eight years on Maryland's death row. Twice hideath sentence has been overturned, but twice, new juries have voted again for death. He has years of appeals left and knows that another reversal could free him from the shadow of the gas chamber.
NEWS
By Joel McCord and Joel McCord,Sun Staff Correspondent | December 29, 1990
ANNAPOLIS -- The Court of Appeals upheld yesterday the death sentence of Flint Gregory Hunt, who gunned down Baltimore police Officer Vincent J. Adolfo in an alley in 1985.Officer Adolfo was shot twice as he tried to arrest Hunt after Hunt fled from a stolen car into an East Baltimore alleyway.The ruling marks the second time Maryland's highest court has reviewed Hunt's sentence. It upheld his conviction but vacated the death sentence in 1988, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that testimony from a victim's family about its anguish could not be permitted in a sentencing hearing.
NEWS
By Jay Apperson and Jay Apperson,Sun Staff Writer | June 28, 1994
Flint Gregory Hunt, sentenced to die for the 1985 murder of a Baltimore police officer, moved a step closer to the gas chamber yesterday when a federal judge denied his appeal of his death sentence.Although subject to appeals in federal Circuit Court and the U.S. Supreme Court, yesterday's ruling could lead to Hunt's execution as early as 1995, said Gary E. Bair, Maryland's assistant attorney general in charge of criminal appeals. Mr. Bair said Hunt is further along in the process than any of the 13 other inmates on Maryland's death row.Mr.
NEWS
June 20, 2013
I just read a letter from a reader who is whining about the lack of a death penalty as punishment for the man who allegedly raped and murdered Kami King ("Cecil girl's murder shows error of Md.'s decision to abolish capital punishment," June 17), and I couldn't help thinking about Kirk Bloodsworth, the man who was convicted of a similar crime and who spent years on death row before it finally came out that he was not responsible at all, someone else was. Just think, if the state had carried out their unfair and arbitrary death sentence, an innocent man would have been murdered by our state - and by extension, by all of us citizens of Maryland.
NEWS
June 5, 2013
Wise parental support and an effective education delivery system will result in excellent report cards, well prepared high school graduates and a stronger economy, right? All of that may be true if there's been good maternal and child nutrition. The first 1,000 days of each student's life, from pregnancy to age 2, are critical to brain development. The ability of an undernourished child to learn and work is much more likely to be diminished. Globally, nearly 200 million chronically malnourished children suffer serious, often irreversible, physical and cognitive damage.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | May 19, 2013
At great political peril, George Ryan did the right thing. Not to canonize the man. After all, the then-governor of Illinois was later imprisoned on corruption charges. But that doesn't change the fact that, in 2000, stung that 13 inmates had been exonerated and freed from death row in the previous 23 years, Mr. Ryan committed an act of profound moral courage, imposing a moratorium on capital punishment. In 2003, in the waning days of his term, he one-upped himself, commuting every death sentence in his state.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 13, 2013
The House of Delegates moved closer to abolishing Maryland's death penalty Wednesday night as it rejected changes that attempted to turn Gov. Martin O'Malley's bill into something less than full repeal. In the first of several key tests, delegates voted 77-61 to reject an amendment that would allow capital punishment for inmates already incarcerated for murder who kill again. The House worked into the night rejecting amendment after amendment — most offered by Republicans — before giving the bill preliminary approval shortly before 9 p.m. The bill is likely to come up for a final vote in the House Friday.
NEWS
February 14, 2013
Marylanders should thank The Sun for showing the faces of those convicted murderers and describing their killings ("Death row: Should they die for their crimes?" Feb. 10). They are only alive today because Gov. Martin O'Malley has not acted to give them the penalty mandated by their trial and the law, giving them additional life with his countless delays. These people are alive today only because the same justice system that death penalty opponents point to as unfairly sentencing them is the same justice system treating their victims and victims' families so unfairly by keeping them alive.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | February 29, 2012
Members of an Anne Arundel County jury were certain that Lee Edward Stephens was guilty of murder, but prosecutors could not convince them that the inmate — already serving a life sentence when he killed a correctional officer in 2006 — should be put to death. The jury decided Wednesday that Stephens will get another life sentence, this time without possibility of parole, for fatally stabbing Cpl. David McGuinn as he made his rounds at the now-closed House of Correction in Jessup.
NEWS
By Gilbert A. Lewthwaite and Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,London Bureau of The Sun | December 29, 1990
LONDON -- Salman Rushdie, still under Islamic death threat for writing "The Satanic Verses," carried his appeal against the sentence yesterday to the Iranians who imposed it.In a broadcast on the Persian service of the BBC's World Service, he said: "You know I have never been the enemy of Islam. I have never been this figure with horns and a tail. I am not the sort of person who would have written a book attacking Islam."He said his book had been "much misunderstood." He asserted that his book was not blasphemous and said all the "so-called insults" were "contained in the dreams of a man who was going mad, and the reason he was going mad was because he had lost his faith in Islam."
NEWS
By JENNIFER MCMENAMIN and JENNIFER MCMENAMIN,SUN REPORTER | December 17, 2005
In a 4-3 decision, Maryland's highest court upheld a death sentence yesterday for a drug kingpin convicted of hiring someone to kill two witnesses scheduled to testify against him in a federal narcotics case. The Court of Appeals rejected three appeals from Anthony Grandison, who argued that Baltimore County prosecutors suppressed evidence favorable to his case, that Maryland's process for sentencing capital cases is flawed and that he was not eligible for the death penalty because he did not kill the witnesses.
NEWS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2012
More than three dozen legal scholars and attorneys — including former Gov. Harry R. Hughes and two former Maryland attorneys general, J. Joseph Curran Jr. and Stephen H. Sachs — are sending a letter and report to members of the General Assembly urging the repeal of the state's death penalty. "There's a lot of misconception about Maryland's law" among legislators and the general public, said Jane Henderson, executive director of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, which organized the lobbying effort.
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