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NEWS
By Sheridan Lyons and Glenn Small and Sheridan Lyons and Glenn Small,Sun Staff Writers | October 21, 1994
With criticism mounting against her office, Baltimore County State's Attorney Sandra A. O'Connor yesterday defended a manslaughter plea bargain with a Parkton trucker who received an 18-month work-release sentence for shooting his unfaithful wife with a hunting rifle."
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NEWS
August 4, 2014
In this week's 'Crime Scene' video, former TV police reporter and Baltimore City Police spokesman Matt Jablow recounts the mysterious death of Jonathan Luna. Luna was a 38-year-old prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office in Baltimore when his body was found on December 4, 2003 in a shallow creek in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  He had been stabbed more than 30 times.  At the time of his death, Luna had been working on a plea bargain for a drug case.  More than 10 years later, police still are unclear about exactly what happened to Luna.
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NEWS
September 24, 1992
The second person charged in the February abduction an stabbing of a Baltimore businessman was expected to accept a plea bargain with Carroll County prosecutors today, the suspect's attorney said yesterday.Karen Sue Palido of Elkridge is expected to plead not guilty to kidnapping and armed robbery charges, but she would agree to the prosecution entering a statement of facts into the court record that contains enough evidence to convict her of those charges. In exchange for accepting the plea bargain, prosecutors are to drop 18 other counts, including attempted first-degree murder.
NEWS
May 31, 2013
Another innocent child murdered in Baltimore is a crying shame. Baltimore came in fifth place nationally for its high murder rate. Maryland came in fourth place among the 50 states for the number of police officers killed (six) in the line of duty. Getting tough on second-offenders leaves innocent children and adults in more dangerous crossfire between criminals. If you chose to intentionally shoot another person, then you should expect the consequence is to spend a very long time in jail.
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | February 2, 1992
She remembers years with a husband who was filled with frustration. The husband was a cop who said the system kept breaking down. The bad guys kept getting away. The wife shrugged her shoulders and never quite understood what he was talking about.She understands now. The husband was murdered on a highway in a routine traffic stop, and the system seems to have broken down in the prosecution of his killers. The husband was Maryland State Trooper Ted Wolf, and his killers got a break, and now the old frustrations are all coming clear to Virginia Wolf.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | May 19, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Lawyers for Rep. Dan Rostenkowski have approached federal prosecutors to try to negotiate a plea bargain that would avert a broad felony indictment against the powerful Illinois Democrat, lawyers involved in the case said yesterday.The lawyers said the discussions could lead to Mr. Rostenkowski's agreement to plead guilty to a lesser charge. At this point, they said that the government and Mr. Rostenkowski's lawyers were still far apart and that the effort to reach an agreement could go nowhere, in which case Mr. Rostenkowski could be indicted, possibly before Memorial Day.The inquiry that threatens Mr. Rostenkowski began in 1991 when investigators began examining accusations that postal clerks had stolen money from their cash drawers at the House mailing office.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer | May 15, 1994
When a defendant decided at the last minute to forgo a jury trial and accept a plea bargain last week, a Carroll Circuit judge charged him $405 for court costs.Jurors were called to the courtroom but not used after Paul Nelson Barnes agreed to a deal with the prosecution rather than stand trial on breaking and entering charges. The bargain was struck minutes before prosecutors and defense attorneys were to begin selecting a jury.Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. charged Barnes the $15-a-day fee paid to people called for jury duty.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer | April 1, 1994
A 36-year-old Taneytown man, who had sex with a neighbor while she was passed out at his house last fall, was convicted of second-degree rape yesterday and placed on three years of probation.Michael Steven Campbell entered an Alford plea in exchange for the probation and suspended eight-year sentence imposed by Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. In an Alford plea, defendants maintain their innocence, but admit that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them.As part of the plea bargain, prosecutors dropped three other charges related to the Nov. 19 attack and four charges stemming from an alleged rape on Aug. 24."
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Staff Writer | December 2, 1992
A Towson doctor charged with bilking Medicaid of fees for the births of 121 babies he allegedly never delivered was allowed to withdraw from a plea bargain yesterday and now faces a jury trial.Dr. Carter Williams, 42, an obstetrician and gynecologist formerly at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, charged the state $115,646 for babies delivered to indigent patients -- allegedly by other doctors, prosecutors said.In one case, prosecutors charged, Dr. Williams was at medical conference in New York when one of the babies he billed for was delivered.
NEWS
By Jay Apperson and Jay Apperson,Staff writer | December 18, 1991
A New York teen-ager charged with first-degree murder in the December 1990 slaying of an Arnold high school senior pleaded guilty yesterday to a reduced charge of assault and battery.County prosecutors allowed the plea in exchange for his testimony against the alleged trigger man.Jamel Hayes, 18, of Brooklyn, N.Y., had been linked by police to a group of New York drug dealers working in Annapolis. Hayes faces nomore than four years in prison in connection with the death of Darryl Dewayne Downs, an 18-year-old Broadneck High School student who wasfound shot in the back of the head last Dec. 20 in a housing projectoff Forest Drive in Annapolis.
NEWS
March 14, 2013
Since the the death penalty has not been carried out in Maryland since 2005 and is not anticipated to be used again, the debate over whether it should be abolished is almost academic ("House committee approves death penalty repeal" Mar. 8). However there is at least one compelling reason to retain it. If an individual now pleads guilty in a plea bargain to murder to avoid the death penalty, winding up with accepting life in prison without parole, serves justice. However without the death penalty, when the prisoner would plead guilty, instead of agreeing to life without parole, he or she will demand a lesser sentence and even for the most heinous crimes will be eligible one day for release.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | August 22, 2012
Isaac Truss, his body shaking so much that the clinking of his shackles could be heard in the back of the courtroom, seemed unsure during his sentencing on two murders Wednesday whether he wanted to show remorse or try the case.  Having already pleaded guilty to killing two men in downtown Baltimore over the course of less than two days, Truss was now appearing before Circuit Court Judge Althea Handy for sentencing. But he started off the hearing by seeking to revoke his plea.  "I wanted to go to trial," he told Handy.
NEWS
March 22, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court made an important ruling for the cause of fairness when it decided this week that the right to effective counsel extends to plea bargains and not just trials. As Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion in the 5-4 case, 97 percent of federal convictions are the result of pleas, as are 94 percent of convictions in state courts. Unless the right to effective counsel extends to plea deals, it means very little. But an opinion that in theory is eminently just threatens to result in a manifest injustice in Baltimore.
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks, The Baltimore Sun | July 31, 2010
Had he known that prosecutors were willing to offer him 10 years in prison in return for a guilty plea, convicted rapist and child abuser John Merzbacher would have accepted the deal "most graciously" instead of standing trial and getting the multiple life terms he has been serving since 1995. That's what Merzbacher claimed a few years ago during a post-conviction hearing in Baltimore to determine whether his defense attorneys had told him about the plea deal. That deal — and a federal judge's conclusion that Merzbacher's lawyers erred in keeping it from him — is central to the latest chapter in one of Maryland's highest-profile child sex abuse cases, involving dozens of victims, male and female, who were students of Merzbacher's at Catholic middle school in the 1970s.
NEWS
By Madison Park and Madison Park,Sun Reporter | June 6, 2008
A jury asked to decide the fate of a man charged in one of the biggest jewelry store thefts in Harford County never heard from a key witness: a former Baltimore police officer. David A. Williamson, who resigned from the department after admitting that he took the stolen jewelry after pulling over one of the accused thieves in a traffic stop, did not face criminal charges after agreeing to testify against the suspects. But when the case came up for trial this week, Williamson was not there.
NEWS
By David G. Savage and David G. Savage,LOS ANGELES TIMES | November 6, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Can a murderer escape a death sentence because he rejected a plea deal after receiving bad advice from his lawyer? The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide that issue in the case of an Idaho man who slit the throat of a police informant 20 years ago. The case is the latest effort by the justices to decide whether a defense lawyer's mistakes warrant overturning a criminal's conviction or sentence. It is also the latest move by the high court to reconsider a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer | June 28, 1992
A 19-year-old Eldersburg man who faced up to life in prison on more than a dozen criminal charges -- including attempted murder and drug distribution -- will serve no more than 15 years as a result of a plea bargain worked out last week.In exchange for the lighter prison sentence, Gordon L. Cartnail pleaded guilty to manufacturing crack cocaine, illegal handgun possession, and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. All other charges in the three criminal cases against him were dropped.
BUSINESS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | December 28, 2005
In a development that transforms the criminal case against Enron's former top officers, the company's former chief accounting officer has reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to violating federal law during his employment there, people briefed on the decision said yesterday. The former accounting officer, Richard A. Causey, had been viewed by lawyers in the case as likely to strike a plea deal with prosecutors and possibly serve as a witness for the government in the coming trial of two former chief executives of Enron, Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling.
NEWS
By JULIE BYKOWICZ | October 12, 2005
A man charged as a kingpin in a major East Baltimore drug ring pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to distribute cocaine under a plea agreement that means he will spend three years in prison. Prosecutors said William Nicholson, 28, of Abingdon supplied high-volume drug dealers in Baltimore with large quantities of cocaine. Had he been successfully prosecuted as a drug kingpin, Nicholson could have faced 40 years in prison. Nicholson was among more than two dozen charged as a result of wiretap investigations conducted in 2002 and 2003 by city, county and federal authorities.
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