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By New York Times News Service | May 5, 1992
WASHINGTON -- Overturning a precedent of the Warren Court era, the Supreme Court effectively has shut the door on an important route of federal court appeals for state prison inmates.By a 5 to 4 vote, the court ruled yesterday that federal courts are no longer obliged to grant a hearing on a state prisoner's challenge to his conviction, even if the prisoner can show that his lawyer had not properly presented crucial facts of the case in a state-court appeal.Until yesterday, federal courts handling such challenges through habeas corpus petitions from state inmates were required to hold a hearing to evaluate evidence if facts central to the case had not been presented adequately to the state courts.
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NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | January 15, 2010
U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz swiftly denied a defense attorney's request for federal intervention in a state proceeding, dismissing the case a day after it was filed. Attorney Gary Proctor had filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus Tuesday, contending that his 19-year-old indigent client was unconstitutionally jailed before trial without evidence to support the gun, assault and attempted murder charges against him. A Baltimore Circuit Court judge threw out a photo identification of defendant Christopher Robinson last month because the picture had been significantly altered by police.
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NEWS
By Roll Call Report Syndicate | April 21, 1996
Here is how members of Maryland's delegation on Capitol Hill were recorded on important roll-call votes last week:Y: Yes N: No X: Not votingHouse: Constitutional AmendmentThe House rejected a constitutional amendment (HJ Res 159) requiring that bills raising taxes be approved by two-thirds majorities of both houses, rather than by simple majorities as is now the case. The tally of 243 for and 177 against fell short of the two-thirds majority required for approval of constitutional amendments.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | January 15, 2010
U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz swiftly denied a defense attorney's request for federal intervention in a state proceeding, dismissing the case a day after it was filed. Attorney Gary Proctor had filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus Tuesday, contending that his 19-year-old indigent client was unconstitutionally jailed before trial without evidence to support the gun, assault and attempted murder charges against him. A Baltimore Circuit Court judge threw out a photo identification of defendant Christopher Robinson last month because the picture had been significantly altered by police.
NEWS
By MARTIN D. TULLAI | December 13, 1991
When one of our Founding Fathers suggested in the Constitutional Convention that a Bill of Rights be drawn up, the state delegations unanimously rejected the idea. So the document was drawn up without one, and the Bill of Rights added only later. We celebrate its bicentennial Sunday. There were several reasons for this apparent flip-flop.In the first place, most of the states in 1787 had bills of rights already. When Elbridge Gerry proposed that a federal version be drafted, Roger Sherman declared this was unnecessary because the state bill of rights were sufficient.
FEATURES
By Robert A. Erlandson | March 8, 1994
The document showing President Abraham Lincoln's personal intervention in a Baltimore treason case during the Civil War was not the only nugget archivist Kellee Green Blake mined from 10 boxes crammed with Baltimore federal court records of the period.Ms. Blake found a record of Maryland's most famous case of the time, the treason indictment of John Merryman of Hayfields, whose arrest in May 1861 provoked a constitutional struggle between Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney and President Lincoln over the suspension of the right of habeas corpus.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | May 4, 1996
WASHINGTON -- Moving swiftly to answer a tough new constitutional question, the Supreme Court agreed yesterday to rule within weeks on Congress' power to end prison inmates' repeated attempts to overturn their convictions and sentences.Nine days after President Clinton signed into law a broad exercise of that power in the new anti-terrorism law, the court granted early review of the constitutionality of key parts of the measure.Treating the dispute almost as an emergency matter, the court -- by a vote of 5-4 -- set a hearing for June 3, with indications it will decide the case before recessing for the summer later in June.
NEWS
September 28, 1997
AMERICANS EASILY forget that our judicial system is based on the premise that it is more important to protect the innocent than to punish the guilty. The demand to speed up the death penalty appeals process is a prime example.We have no doubt most Marylanders approve of the state's effort to invoke a new federal law that drastically shortens the time inmates have to file ''habeas corpus'' appeals in federal court, and which may hasten the execution of several notorious criminals.But it is likely that innocent people will die under this law.The notion that all death penalty appeals are groundless is false.
NEWS
By Glenn Small and Marcia Myers and Glenn Small and Marcia Myers,Staff Writers | October 30, 1993
Fearing that convicted killer John Frederick Thanos could be executed immediately if Maryland's highest court rules that he should die, a federal public defender asked a U.S. District Court judge yesterday to issue a federal stay of execution.But when a Maryland prosecutor promised that the state would not execute Thanos until at least 24 hours after the Maryland Court of Appeals rules, U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg declined to issue the stay. He told the lawyers to return Tuesday morning to discuss the issue.
NEWS
By Libby Lewis | September 19, 1995
IT'S TOO BAD that Mumia Abu-Jamal has become an international poster boy for the ills of America's system of criminal justice. Because for all the injustices that may have marred his case, he could be guilty of murder.So, many won't care that his case is a reminder of the need for a legal mechanism to insure that the government follows the law. That mechanism, habeas corpus, is falling victim to the tangled politics of the death penalty in America.New-trial bid deniedThe Constitution protects not only the innocent but the guilty from being jailed illegally.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | January 14, 2010
A court-appointed defense attorney has filed a rare petition in federal court asking for intervention in a state case, in which he claims his 19-year-old indigent client is being held unconstitutionally on attempted-murder charges without a "scintilla" of proof. A Baltimore Circuit Court judge threw out last month the only evidence against the defendant, an identification from a paper photo lineup, because police had altered the three-year-old photo by trimming the subject's hair with scissors, according to one officer's account, or drawing facial hair on it, according to a witness.
NEWS
By Robert Hardaway | February 27, 2007
DENVER -- In the case ruled on last week by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Guantanamo detainees made the claim that all persons held outside the United States by U.S. authorities, regardless of their nationality or location, have the right under the U.S. Constitution to have their habeas corpus petitions heard in U.S. federal courts. The appeals court rejected that argument - and with good reason. In 1950, in the case of Johnson v. Eisentrager, a similar claim was made by a number of German war criminals confined in the custody of the U.S. army in occupied Germany, who attempted to file habeas corpus petitions in U.S. courts challenging their detention.
NEWS
By JOHN J. CONNOLLY | November 22, 2005
My law firm represents an orthopedic surgeon who has been incarcerated for four years. Our client has never been charged with a crime. He has never had a trial. He is not permitted access to a telephone, Internet, or e-mail. He is permitted no visitors. He is shackled, transported and interrogated according to shifting policies of government agencies too numerous to mention. He has only one meaningful right: habeas corpus. The Senate voted to curtail that right in a last-minute amendment to a defense appropriations bill.
FEATURES
By Carl Schoettler and Carl Schoettler,SUN STAFF | November 27, 2001
"Generally, Chief Executives in wartime are not very sympathetic to the protection of civil liberties ... "- Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, 1999 Early in the Civil War, at about 2 in the morning on May 25, 1861, armed Union troops rousted a Southern sympathizer named John Merryman out of bed at his home in Cockeysville and hauled him off to jail at Fort McHenry, on the tip of the Locust Point peninsula in Baltimore. He was among the first of more than 2,000 political prisoners mostly from Baltimore and Maryland held at Fort McHenry by the U.S. Army without being charged, put on trial or allowed the writ of habeas corpus, the ancient right of a prisoner to be brought before a judge to ascertain the legality of his detention.
NEWS
By Gregory Kane | October 20, 2001
"ABSOLUTELY not," Rep. Robert Ehrlich of Maryland's 2nd Congressional District said late Thursday. "I think it's sacrosanct." He was talking about suspending habeas corpus, which some Americans have pondered in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on our nation. Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution allows suspending habeas corpus. But Congress still won't do it. They've even gone so far as to tone down a proposed anti-terrorism bill. "Given the liberalization that's taken place with this [anti-terrorism]
NEWS
September 28, 1997
AMERICANS EASILY forget that our judicial system is based on the premise that it is more important to protect the innocent than to punish the guilty. The demand to speed up the death penalty appeals process is a prime example.We have no doubt most Marylanders approve of the state's effort to invoke a new federal law that drastically shortens the time inmates have to file ''habeas corpus'' appeals in federal court, and which may hasten the execution of several notorious criminals.But it is likely that innocent people will die under this law.The notion that all death penalty appeals are groundless is false.
NEWS
By Stephen Reinhardt | May 10, 1991
THE U.S. Supreme Court is out of the closet. The myth that it is only liberals who are judicial activists stands exposed.The Supreme Court has never acted in as nakedly activist a manner as did the Rehnquist court last month in a case known as "McCleskey II" (McCleskey vs. Zant). No longer will it be possible for conservative politicians to proclaim that the appointees of Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Bush believe in judicial restraint.In McCleskey II, the Supreme Court unabashedly legislated drastic restrictions on one of our most fundamental rights -- the writ of habeas corpus.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | September 14, 1993
WASHINGTON -- Ensnarled in presidential election politics, a major crime bill died last year as Republicans and Democrats refused to compromise on such difficult issues as capital punishment, death row appeals and gun control.This year was supposed to be different. With Democrats controlling both the White House and Congress, many hoped the impasse would break."It's time we put aside the divisions of party and philosophy," President Clinton pleaded last month in a ceremony announcing his commitment to push for the same crime bill that failed in 1992.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | May 4, 1996
WASHINGTON -- Moving swiftly to answer a tough new constitutional question, the Supreme Court agreed yesterday to rule within weeks on Congress' power to end prison inmates' repeated attempts to overturn their convictions and sentences.Nine days after President Clinton signed into law a broad exercise of that power in the new anti-terrorism law, the court granted early review of the constitutionality of key parts of the measure.Treating the dispute almost as an emergency matter, the court -- by a vote of 5-4 -- set a hearing for June 3, with indications it will decide the case before recessing for the summer later in June.
NEWS
By Roll Call Report Syndicate | April 21, 1996
Here is how members of Maryland's delegation on Capitol Hill were recorded on important roll-call votes last week:Y: Yes N: No X: Not votingHouse: Constitutional AmendmentThe House rejected a constitutional amendment (HJ Res 159) requiring that bills raising taxes be approved by two-thirds majorities of both houses, rather than by simple majorities as is now the case. The tally of 243 for and 177 against fell short of the two-thirds majority required for approval of constitutional amendments.
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