Jody Lee Miles
Jody Lee Miles

In a move that could empty Maryland’s death row, Attorney General Doug Gansler filed a motion change a death row inmate’s sentence to life without parole.

Maryland abolished the death penalty last year. In his brief, Gansler argues that Jody Lee Miles should be sentenced to life without parole even though he was sentenced to death before the ban on capital punishment.

“Without the ability to promulgate lethal injection protocols, an execution in Maryland is a legal and factual impossibility,”  a statement from the Attorney General’s office said.

Gansler added that a life without parole sentence “will protect the public from a dangerous murderer by imposing the most severe punishment under the law.”

Miles was convicted in the 1997 murder of Edward Atkinson, a Wicomico County musical theater director. His next appeal is set to be heard in December.

Three other inmates are currently on death row in Maryland, and Gansler’s motion will likely open the door to each filing their own appeal to overturn their death sentences.

Gansler’s motion was filed to the state Court of Special Appeals, and can be read here.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.