A.G. Gansler Seeks to Resolve Uncertainty Following Repeal of Md.'s Death Penalty - Southern Maryland Headline News

A.G. Gansler Seeks to Resolve Uncertainty Following Repeal of Md.'s Death Penalty


Legal brief filed in response to appeal by death row inmate Jody Lee Miles

BALTIMORE (November 6, 2014)—Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today filed a brief with the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland in response to an appeal by death row inmate Jody Lee Miles. Miles claims his death sentence is illegal following the repeal of capital punishment in Maryland, which took effect in 2013. Attorney General Gansler argues in the brief that constitutional due process dictates that the death sentence can no longer stand in light of the legislature's repeal of capital punishment and therefore the court should sentence Miles to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

"Whether or not you agree with the death penalty, the recent repeal of capital punishment in Maryland nevertheless demands that we pursue a prison sentence that ensures Jody Lee Miles dies behind bars, where he belongs," said Attorney General Gansler. "Life without parole in this case will protect the public from a dangerous murderer by allowing by imposing the most severe punishment possible under the law."

The brief filed today asks the Court of Special Appeals to issue a sentence or direct a circuit court judge to sentence Miles to life without parole. Oral arguments are scheduled before the appellate court on December 8.

Stipulated in the State's brief is the fact that Maryland no longer has regulations and procedures to carry out an execution—even for a crime that was committed and a sentence that was imposed before the state's repeal of capital punishment. Without the ability to promulgate lethal injection protocols, an execution in Maryland is a legal and factual impossibility.

Miles is one of four inmates currently on Maryland's death row. He was convicted in the 1997 robbery and murder of Edward Joseph Atkinson, a musical theater director, in Wicomico County.

To read the brief filed with the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, visit:

http://www.oag.state.md.us/Press/11_6_14_Miles_COSA_Appeals_Brief.pdf

Source: Office of Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler

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