April 2021 Maryland Certiorari Grants
On Friday, the Court of Appeals of Maryland (which will probably be renamed the Supreme Court of Maryland in 19 months) granted review in three appeals, all criminal, to be argued in September.
Eric Antonio Alarcon-Ozoria v. State of Maryland – Case No. 4, September Term, 2021
(Unreported COSA Opinion by Raker, J.)
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Does the State’s obligation to exercise due diligence in identifying and disclosing relevant materials in criminal litigation extend to phone call recordings collected and preserved by the State’s jail facilities? 2) In a criminal case, does a recording of a defendant’s own statement that is not disclosed until the morning of trial constitute an unfair surprise to the defense, such that it requires relief?
Michael O’Sullivan v. State of Maryland – Case No. 3, September Term, 2021
(Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge Harrell)
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) In an oath-against-oath perjury case, is the State relieved of its burden of production under the two-witness rule by introducing circumstantial evidence? 2) Was there sufficient evidence that Petitioner/Cross-Respondent committed perjury and misconduct in office? 3) Should the two-witness rule, which provides for a heightened burden of production that is only applicable to the misdemeanor offense of perjury, be prospectively abrogated in favor of the standard burden of production in a criminal case, which requires the State to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and trusts in the ability of the fact-finder to weigh evidence?
State of Maryland v. Rony Galicia – Case No. 5, September Term, 2021
(Unreported COSA Opinion by Judge D. Eyler)
Issues – Criminal Law – 1) When a statement against penal interest inculpates a third party, but not the defendant, does the trial court abuse its discretion when it does not allow the defendant to elicit evidence about the statement? 2) Is expert testimony required to explain to a fact-finder that a “gap” in the “location history” records for a Google account could have been caused by the account holder turning off the “location history” service?