The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a portion of the Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 enacted by the U.S. Congress. In an 8-1 decision, the justices declared the language "unconstitutionally vague." The Supreme Court's action displays a growing national sentiment against tough-on-crime or three-strikes laws that demand mandatory sentences. This latest decision could affect some Maryland residents who are facing federal criminal charges.
Maryland is one of the states that allows a defendant in a criminal trial to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, but states differ in how they define insanity from a legal standpoint. Insanity as a legal defense does not mean exactly the same thing as having a mental illness.
Federal prosecutors in Maryland say four pain clinics were being used to distribute oxycodone for non-medical purposes. Sixteen people, including the owners of the pain clinics, were indicted for their alleged roles in the drug distribution conspiracy. Some of the drug-related offenses the individuals are charged for include conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and health care fraud.
A Maryland man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. In sentencing the 45-year-old man, the court increased the sentence based on the man's prior drug conviction as well as the amount of drugs recovered.
Police in Maryland took a 32-year-old man into custody after they received a call about a fight on Feb. 26. After arriving at the residence on Cedar Lane in Worcester County, they interviewed a man who appeared to have been involved in a fight based on the blood on his face and the condition of his disarrayed clothing. According to reports, the man also said that he was suffering from pain in his shoulder.
According to Annapolis police, a man was taken into custody in connection with a robbery that took place in the Bay Forest Center parking lot. A woman was allegedly approached by a man wielding a knife as she was placing groceries in her car. The man reportedly took her purse and then left the scene in a car driven by another individual.
As Maryland residents may know, an incident involving squatters on Aug. 30, 2014, led to the arrest of a man after he moved his family into a house he did not own. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27 in Montgomery County to address multiple charges against the man.
Maryland residents might be surprised to learn that a new research study shows adults can be persuaded that they are guilty of crimes they did not commit more than 70 percent of the time. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom and the University of British Columbia in Canada, indicated that false memories of crime participation could be generated in as little as three hours by a friendly interrogator who introduces true and false details into conversation with a subject.
A report of armed robbery at a Hanover Exxon station resulted in the arrest of three men on unrelated charges the next day. On Jan. 9, As the police were responding to the report of the robbery on Jan. 8 at approximately 9:51 p.m., they saw a 2011 Jaguar leaving the gas station with two men inside and pursued it. Police caught up with the driver and his passenger when the car became immobile in the median of southbound 295 near Powder Mill Road.
On Dec. 22, a 22-year-old District Heights man was taken into custody in connection with a series of thefts around Ballston. He is suspected of stealing at least 40 delivered packages from residential porches over the last few months.