Undoing Due Process? What a SCOTUS Reversal of Miranda Might Mean

In Vega v. Tekoh, the United States Supreme Court deliberates over a case that could shape whether law enforcement deliver Miranda rights across the country. A recent opinion piece in The Hill anticipates the Vega holding will remove the constitutional requirement that law enforcement "Mirandize" individuals, meaning inform them of their rights to counsel and not self-incriminate, during a police stop. Background Vega concerns an individual, Terence Tekoh, accused of and charged with sexual assault. Law enforcement…

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Montgomery Nominates Nine Members to Police Accountability Board

On Wednesday, June 8th, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich nominated nine residents to serve on the County's inaugural Police Accountability Board (PAB), pending the county council's approval. Though it may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, Montgomery's PAB is appointed entirely by the county executive. County Executive Elrich discussed the internal process for selecting board members in a press release: 'I am pleased to nominate these nine diverse and qualified candidates to serve on the inaugural Police…

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State Providing $7.5 Million in Policing Accountability Grants

The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services is providing $7.5 million to law enforcement agencies in Police Accountability, Community, and Transparency (PACT) grants. The PACT program is intended to help state and local law enforcement agencies comply with the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021. Grants may be used toward more body cameras, de-escalation training, and other critical tools to enhance community relationship building. Governor Larry Hogan discussed the grant program's intent…

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Baltimore City Sues Ghost Gun Maker As Statewide Registry Law Goes Into Effect
An untraceable "ghost gun," courtesy of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
Baltimore City Sues Ghost Gun Maker As Statewide Registry Law Goes Into Effect

Baltimore City has filed a lawsuit against the nation’s largest ghost gun manufacturer, Polymer80, Inc., just as the state's ghost gun registry law goes into effect. The Brady Campaign defines "ghost guns" as "unserialized and untraceable firearms that can be bought online and assembled at home." According to the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD), the City had never recovered a ghost gun before 2018. However, in 2021, BPD recovered 324, or 14% of all firearms…

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Baltimore County Approves Establishment of Police Accountability Board

On Thursday, May 26th, the Baltimore County Council approved legislation establishing the county's police accountability board. Baltimore County Bill No. 24-22 establishes a "Police Accountability Board, an Administrative Charging Committee, and a Trial Board process" as required by the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021. As with Carroll County, Baltimore County will not allow residents with criminal backgrounds to serve on the Board. Specifically, one may not serve on Baltimore County's Board if they have…

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On Anniversary of Floyd’s Death, White House Tackles Police Reform

On Wednesday, May 25th, the White House will issue an executive order to promote police reform within state and local police agencies. The Washington Post notes federal grant funding will incentivize reform, including tightening "restrictions on the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants." Moreover, the federal government will restrict local law enforcement access to military equipment. Maryland likely benefits from the executive order as it continues to implement 2021's Police Accountability Act. The Act includes new…

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SCOTUS Decision Voids Federal Limits on Self-Loans to Campaigns

A decision by the United States Supreme Court has voided a federal limit on the amount a candidate may loan to their own campaign - citing first amendment concerns, and at least raising the issue that state-level limits may similarly be stricken. In the case Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate, the Supreme Court has ruled that free expression right are unfairly impeded by a federal law limiting to $250,000 the amount that…

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St. Mary’s and Baltimore City Courts Receive Judicial Appointments

Governor Larry Hogan has appointed Amy Lorenzini to the Circuit Court for St. Mary’s County, as well as Kay Harding and Carol Johnson to the District Court for Baltimore City.  “It is my pleasure to appoint these individuals to serve in our state’s judicial system,” said Governor Hogan. “I am confident that Ms. Lorenzini, Ms. Harding, and Ms. Johnson will bring valuable experience and knowledge to the bench and honorably serve the citizens of their…

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Carroll Builds Its Police Accountability Board

On Thursday, May 5th, the Board of Carroll County Commissioners voted on a resolution establishing its police accountability board (PAB) as required by state law. Each county in Maryland is required to create a police accountability board by the 2021 Police Accountability Act. Under the Act, PABs comprised of entirely of civilian members are charged with meeting quarterly with law enforcement leadership to improve matters of policing and to hear complaints of police misconduct. Each…

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