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Strosnider v. Warden of Maryland Penitentiary

Decided: May 18, 1962.

STROSNIDER
v.
WARDEN OF THE MARYLAND PENITENTIARY



Brune, C. J., and Henderson, Hammond, Prescott, Horney, Marbury and Sybert, JJ. Hammond, J., delivered the opinion of the Court.

Hammond

The petitioner, Boyd Wilson Strosnider, seeks leave to appeal from the decision of the lower court denying him post conviction relief.

Strosnider was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. He now contends that he did not commit the murder, but rather that he initially confessed to it while in a state of suicidal despondency (brought on in part by an extreme overdose of alcohol) and that his confession was readily accepted by the police, especially in light of the fact that no other volunteers came forth to admit to the crime.

The petitioner elected to proceed below as attorney pro se without the assistance of counsel who had been appointed to represent him. He filed a lengthy brief below, which was attached to his petition, and he both testified and argued his case at a rather extensive hearing. Following the hearing,

Judge Duckett held the case sub curia until he could further study the points raised. He subsequently handed down a written opinion and held that as a matter of law the petitioner had presented no valid grounds for post conviction relief.

Strosnider also elected to act as his own attorney in this leave to appeal, and he filed a further brief in this Court, in which he sets out fifteen grounds for relief, all of which were raised below and all of which were passed on by Judge Duckett.

The fifteen grounds may best be summarized by quotation from the State's brief in this case:

"1. Denial of right to telephone or communicate upon arrest.

2. Improper use of State witness.

3. Denied permission to see wife's statement.

4. The then State's Attorney * * * improperly ...


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