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Supreme Court Overturns Maryland Appeals Court Ruling

October 5th, 2015 by WCBC Radio

Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Maryland Court of Appeals ruling and reinstated the murder conviction of James Kulbicki, a former Baltimore police sergeant who killed his girlfriend in 1993:

“This unequivocal Supreme Court decision restores the integrity of an important murder conviction, and it sends a clear signal that the closure delivered to a family by a verdict should only be undone in exceptional circumstances. This case did not present those circumstances, as the Court clearly noted.

I want to thank the attorneys in our office who worked on this case, including Criminal Appeals Chief Brian Kleinbord, Deputy Chiefs Mary Ann Ince and Carrie Williams and Assistant Attorney General Edward Kelley.”

On Monday, the Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari in Maryland v. Kulbicki, and issued a per curiam ruling that the Maryland Court of Appeals erred in concluding that Kulbicki received ineffective counsel because his attorneys did not vigorously question the technology behind the analysis of the bullets used in the killing. Kulbicki’s attorneys were using the best information available, and an employed effective strategy for his defense, the Supreme Court wrote.

Added Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah: “As the Court’s ruling affirms, the Constitution’s sacred promise of effective representation for every defendant does not justify using the seductive lens of hindsight to second-guess trial and tactical decisions years after those judgments are made.”


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