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Maryland’s Chief Judge Orders Judges To Consider Releasing At-Risk Inmates

April 15th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Maryland's top jurist took steps to prevent people at risk of complications from COVID-19 from being exposed in state jails and prisons. WBAL reports Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera of the Maryland Court of Appeals directed administrative judges to identify people for potential release, balancing health risks with public safety.

Barbera ordered administrative judges to direct prompt hearings to be held on the business day following someone's incarceration on certain offenses, including minor probation violations, child support contempt matters and failure to pay court costs.

Judges are being told to expedite motions for bail hearings and, when deciding whether to grant release, consider the defendants' pre-existing conditions, COVID-19 symptoms and capability to, if released, meet their basic needs if they are quarantined. Barbera asked judges to weigh those risks against whether defendants pose a danger to a specific victim or the community, how that risk can be mitigated and whether their release during the COVID-19 crisis serves the interest of justice.

A second order extended statewide restrictions on court operations through June 5. Courts will be closed to the public with exceptions for emergency matters.

There are 93 cases of the coronavirus in the state's prison system. One inmate has died

2 Responses to “Maryland’s Chief Judge Orders Judges To Consider Releasing At-Risk Inmates”

  1. April 15, 2020 at 12:27 pm, Bob said:

    As with the great depression, it will not be the original event of our current troubles that lays the country low, it will be the government response. With our decline and debt of the last half century, it is likely out for the count this time. On the bright side, it saves the trouble of moving.


  2. April 16, 2020 at 12:33 pm, WILLIAM ADAMS said:

    These people need to be placed in segregation for 23 hours per day, fed in the cells and kept incarcerated. If not they should NEVER be released HERE by ANY means increasing the infection rate HERE,they should be released WHERE they were picked up !


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