Tag: law

Here’s a Trendy, Totally Unsuccessful Way to Avoid Prosecution in Baltimore

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Noble Drew Ali, founder of the Moorish Science Temple of America
Noble Drew Ali, founder of the Moorish Science Temple of America

According to Assistant State’s Attorney Charles Blomquist, criminal defendants identifying as adherents of a syncretic sect of Islam known as Moorish Science and referencing obscure treaties with Morocco to claim exemption from American laws is “a growing problem within the courts.”

In fact, two murder defendants in one week — Terrence Rollins-Bey and Robert G. Moore — claimed Baltimore Circuit Judge Emanuel Brown had no standing to hear their cases.

Moorish Americans, as adherents are called, often trace their heritage to Morocco or to pre-Columbian America. This has led some — when faced with prosecution — to claim immunity, sometimes based on a 1787 U.S.-Moroccan treaty 

University Of Maryland School of Law Means Business

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Photo by Steve Ruark.
Michelle Harner and Robert Rhee, Co-Directors at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. Photo by Steve Ruark.

Courtesy Bmore Media – Law professor Daniel S. Goldberg takes a moment to chat in his faculty conference room before he begins his scheduled classes at the University of Maryland. He outstretches his hand, carrying a ceramic coffee mug bearing the logo East Coast Coffee Co.

It’s not the name of his favorite coffee shop. East Coast Coffee Co. doesn’t’t even exist. Goldberg’s students invented it for his course on business planning at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Limited to 25 law students at the downtown Baltimore campus, there is always a waiting list to get in.

Goldberg makes the course as real-life as you can get in a classroom. Students develop a company —  in this case, a coffee shop empire reminiscent of Starbucks, down to official namesake mugs. They take it from startup to the business world’s version of a happy ending — a successful initial public offering.

Will a Recent Ruling Allow More Sex Offenders to Remove Their Names from the State Registry?

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Short answer: maybe.

The Maryland Court of Appeals recently ruled that a man who was convicted in 2006 of a sex offense against a child should have his name taken off the statewide registry of sex offenders partly because his crime was committed before the establishment of the registry in 1995.

The Governor Now a Defendant in Amended Pit Bull Lawsuit

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Armistead Gardens

Talk about putting the system on trial. The attorney for Joseph Weigel, the plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging Maryland Court of Appeals’ ruling that pit bulls are “inherently dangerous” and Armistead Gardens’ consequent ban of the breed among its tenants, has just expanded the suit to include Gov. Martin O’Malley, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, and the Court of Appeals itself as defendants.

Goggles, Helmets to Become Mandatory for Moped and Scooter Drivers in Maryland, Finally!

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Starting October 1, Maryland’s moped and scooter drivers will be required not only to title and register their vehicles, but also to wear helmets and eye protection.

Congratulations, mopedders and scooterers! Now you can go ahead and get those sick retro goggles that you’ve always known would look great on you, but you’ve been afraid to wear, lest you are accused of being a fashion victim! Seriously, you guys are all going to look awesome from now on. Now if only they’ll pass a law requiring that you wear a long white scarf and a bomber jacket.

Controversial Pit Bull Ruling Not In Effect Just Yet

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Maryland Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Rowe wrote an opinion this week that a recent court ruling that definies pit bulls as “inherently dangerous” is not yet the law of the land in the state. It is currently being reconsidered in the Maryland Court of Appeals.

It’s a ruling that could have a huge effect on pit bull owners, landlords, and animal shelters. According to The Baltimore Sun, immediately upon the ruling, Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur “began receiving calls from pit bull owners getting eviction notices from their landlords”  (presumably running scared from the liability of housing tenants with “inherently dangerous” animals. Animal shelters were also unsure how they should be handling pit bulls in light of the ruling.

Docs Charged With Murder for Maryland Abortions

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With the fight for the Republican nomination in full swing, abortion is in the news once again. And that’s only going to be more true as Maryland watches  the trial of two out-of-state doctors who were indicted on murder charges last month stemming from a 2010 abortion.

Thirty-eight states have a law on the books allowing for murder charges against someone who kills a viable fetus. Til now, that law has only been used against defendants who were charged with assaulting or killing a pregnant woman.  The facts in this case are quite different, though disturbing in their own way:  Dr. Steven Brigham (of New Jersey) and Dr. Nicola Riley (of Utah) botched an abortion on a woman who was 21 weeks pregnant, rupturing her uterus and injuring her bowels. When authorities searched the clinic, they found a freezer with 35 late-term fetuses inside. Brigham’s methods sound sleazy — according to the Guardian, for women seeking abortions after the first trimester, Brigham would begin abortion procedures in New Jersey, then have his patients drive themselves to Maryland to finish.

But there are larger questions at play here. According to Maryland law, anyone “intend[ing] to cause the death of the viable fetus” can be charged with murder; the law also states that it’s not intended to infringe on a woman’s right to an abortion. (Late-term abortions are legal in Maryland; the pro-choice organization NARAL gives the state an “A” for its laws regarding reproductive rights.) The charges against Brigham may lead to a court battle over whether he aborted “viable” fetuses.  “This is probably the first case that Maryland has ever seen with this factual scenario using this statute. It’s a unique situation,” said Cecil County State’s Attorney Ellis Rollins. Stay tuned for updates.

 

Photo by Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Shutterstock.com

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