Md. court ruling spurs release of convicted murderers

WASHINGTON – Thirteen convicts in prison for murder are back on the streets.

In all, the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office has released 14 inmates so far.

The Baltimore Sun reports a Maryland Court of Appeals ruling essentially allows dozens of inmates convicted of crimes including rape and murder to seek a new trial. The court decided instructions given to juries before 1980 tainted cases and denied defendants a fair trial.

In the ruling’s wake, prosecutors are working to keep criminals who may pose a threat behind bars, the Sun reports. Inmates released so far range from 55 to 75 years old and have served at least 33 years in prison.

Seven more inmates convicted in Baltimore will likely be released later this month, according to the Sun. Statewide, the ruling affects up to 200 prisoners.

The inmates will be on supervised probation and could be sent directly back to prison if they violate the law.

Read more from The Baltimore Sun.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report. Follow @NickWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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