Motion to Reopen a Closed Post Conviction

     Under the current law in Maryland you are entitled to only one post conviction petition and one hearing on that petition.  If you have lost your post conviction petition and your Application for Leave to Appeal from the denial of your post conviction, you next option may be to file a Motion to Reopen a closed post conviction.  A Motion to Reopen is filed in the circuit court.  Oftentimes, it goes back to the judge who denied the post conviction petition.  In some counties, there is a single judge who reviews all Motions to Reopen and decides whether it will be denied or be assigned to a judge to consider the merits.  The applicable standard in determining whether to reopen a closed post conviction is “in the interests of justice.”  In other words, the court must ask, is it in the interests of justice to give this person another chance to argue that something went wrong with the trial or guilty plea.  This standard is a broad, ill-defined standard, but one recognized basis is ineffective assistance of post conviction counsel. […]

Recent Cases from the Maryland Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals

Below are some recently decided criminal law cases from the Maryland Court of Appeals and the Court of Special Appeals.  Coming soon- I will post about Petitions for Writ Actual Innocence and the body of case law that is developing on the issue.  Two of the most recent decisions on Petitions for Writ of Actual Innocence were decided recently and are covered below. […]