Mark Farley Grant makes his living as a meat cutter at Seven Mile Market in Pikesville, but as far as Sun columnist Dan Rodricks is concerned, he should be swimming in cash, $1 million to be exact, and I agree.
Beginning when he was 15 years old, Grant spent 28 years in prison for a murder he was absolutely unconnected to. And the last four of those 28, were the solely the fault of Gov. Martin O’Malley. In 2008, O’Malley received the results of a thorough investigation by the University of Maryland School of Law that proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that Grant was framed for the murder and wrongfully convicted. The documents revealed previously unknown details about coerced testimony, recanted testimony, failed polygraphs. The report concluded unequivocally: “Mark Grant did not kill Michael Gough. There is now no question about the fact.”
Instead of freeing, pardoning, and compensating Grant with all deliberate speed, the governor let him languish FOUR MORE YEARS in prison. In 2012, when the state’s Parole Commission recommended commuting Grant’s sentence, O’Malley obliged without commentary (except to say that he was still “tough on crime”).
Rodricks cited a case of wrongful conviction in which the victim was compensated $33,000 for every year he spent in jail. Applied to Grant’s case (and rounded up a little bit), you get $1 million. That, a pardon, and some kind of apology, would be a start.