February 26, 2010
The Maryland Court of Appeals decision in Moore v. State broadened the rights of criminal defendants to probe potential juror bias in voir dire. The defendant was tried for attempted murder in connection with a night-time shooting incident. Defense counsel proposed that prospective jurors be asked whether they were predisposed to believe the State's witnesses over the defense's witnesses, simply because they were called by the State. The trial court refused, and the defendant was convicted and sentenced to two concurrent life sentences and 20 years – to be served consecutively. The intermediate appellate court affirmed. Maryland's highest court, the Court of Appeals, granted discretionary review and reversed, holding unanimously that the requested voir dire was central to uncovering disqualifiable juror bias. Michael Pattillo of MoloLamken LLP briefed and argued the case on behalf of the defendant. Read more:
To read the full opinion, please click here.