Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Baltimore Prosecutor Admits He Was Wrong to Block Request to Alter Alford Plea

A ProPublica story last month pointed out that the prosecutor had given up his right to veto changes to the unusual plea deal. Demetrius Smith, who was wrongfully convicted of murder when he agreed to the deal, will get a new hearing.

by Megan Rose

Three weeks after ProPublica published a story detailing how a Baltimore prosecutor had failed to abide by the terms of a plea agreement, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office has reversed course.

Prosecutor Rich Gibson filed a motion in Baltimore City Circuit Court last week saying he had erred and asking a judge to schedule a new hearing for Demetrius Smith. Smith had tried in July to revise a dubious plea deal by asking the judge for a sentence modification that would have essentially cleared his record. Gibson had opposed his request and wrongly claimed the judge didn’t have the power to change Smith’s sentence.

“Demetrius should not be saddled with a felony conviction, and we are grateful that the court has another opportunity to consider Demetrius's case,” Barry Pollack, Smith’s pro bono lawyer, said in an email.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica

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