COVID-19 Can Impact Criminal Trial Verdicts

We Never Give Up

In sickness and in health, a Maryland jury has committed their time and efforts to a criminal case involving our client. No, these jurors aren’t actually sick, but they are determined to dedicate their undivided attention to this trial while the world outside the Montgomery County Circuit Courthouse consumes unnerving news of the coronavirus pandemic. News stations cover COVID-19 around-the-clock, creating an understandable public sense of urgency to remain safe at home.

For our client, facing a felony murder accusation in the midst of a global pandemic doesn’t exactly equate to a fair trial. People’s consciences are preoccupied with staying healthy and following federal government guidelines, jurors included. It is in everyone’s best interest to remain indoors with strictly household members, but in the eyes of the Montgomery County Circuit Court, our client, jurors and state prosecutors involved in this trial are excluded.

Our lawyer, Michael E. Lawlor, repeatedly asked for a mistrial, citing the virus angst weighing on jurors. His requests were denied. Thus, the case must go on.

Dan Morse of the Washington Post precisely captured the truth of the matter in his article. Lawlor argued that “There’s a worldwide pandemic related to covid-19 … The president said that groups should not be formed in excess of 10 people. There are obviously 12 people on this jury.” The article proceeds to mention Lawlor’s logical fear that “… jurors would rush to judgment against [our] client, accused of fatally shooting two people during an alleged botched robbery.”

Despite our firm’s 100-plus years of combined legal experience, Lawlor’s reasonable requests were still denied. While prosecutors claim that criminal trials are suspended in three of the state’s largest jurisdictions — Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Prince George’s County — those involved in our legal trial don’t qualify for these safety measures. Our client’s future and freedom are at stake, yet our trial prevails regardless of a global public health emergency swarming our minds and the media.

After three days of discussion, the jurors were deadlocked. Their commitment to our client’s case was pure luck. If it weren’t for the random chance that our jurors were dedicated to their duty and not the severe public health risk, our case may have suffered injustice. As a result, state prosecutors will later retry the case.

Our top-rated criminal defense attorney has experienced hundreds of jury trials and isn’t intimidated by unfavorable circumstances like this. Those accused of serious crimes trust our attorneys at Brennan McKenna & Lawlor, Chtd. to put up an aggressive fight for a favorable outcome. We not only review the details of your case, but we evaluate the world around us to ensure there is nothing interfering with your chance at freedom.

If you need a fierce, experienced criminal defense attorney, contact us at (240) 219-8980 for your free consultation!