Maryland Appeals Ruling Against Blinking to ID Suspect in Murder Case

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    Maryland has filed an appeal against Judge Leo Green's ruling not to allow video footage of homicide victim Melvin Pate blinking at a photo of his alleged shooter.

    The state of Maryland has filed an appeal against Judge Leo Green, who ruled that video footage of a paralyzed homicide victim blinking at a photo of his alleged shooter would not be admissible in court.

    The state has filed for an interlocutory appeal in the case of State v. Hailes, asking the Attorney General’s Office to appeal Judge Green’s ruling, according to Prince George’s County’s State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks.

    Last week, Green ruled that Melvin Pate, who was paralyzed by a gunshot wound in 2010 and died of his injuries two years later, was competent when investigators showed him a photo lineup in his hospital room soon after he was shot, the Office of the State's Attorney said. Pate blinked purposefully to identify Jermaine Hailes as his alleged shooter.

    Although Green ruled Thursday that video was not admissible evidence, the court found that the manner that photo lineup was done was not suggestive. Additionally, the court found that Pate’s blinking at the photo of his alleged shooter was a dying declaration.

    Because Pate passed away last year as a result of his injuries, Hailes' defense will not be able to cross examine his accuser at the trial currently scheduled for Dec. 11, a right that the 6th Amendment provides through the confrontation clause.

    The state argued that a dying declaration is exempt from the confrontation clause in the 6th Amendment.

    The appeal has no set timeline, leading the state to file a motion to delay the proceedings of State v. Hailes until the appeal has been heard.

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