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Pierson v. Director of Patuxent Institution

Decided: July 28, 1964.

PIERSON
v.
DIRECTOR OF PATUXENT INSTITUTION



Before Brune, C.J., and Henderson, Hammond, Prescott, Horney, Marbury and Sybert, JJ.

Marbury

MARBURY, J., delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is an application for leave to appeal from an order of

the Criminal Court of Baltimore dated September 27, 1963, committing applicant to the Patuxent Institution under the provisions of Code (1963 Cum. Supp.), Article 31B, after a verdict of a jury finding him to be a defective delinquent.

The basis for observation and examination of applicant was his conviction on January 15, 1962, of burglary, for which he was sentenced to serve not more than three years in the Maryland State Reformatory for Males (now Maryland Institution for Men) and from which he was referred to Patuxent Institution.

Court appointed counsel raises the following contentions:

1. It was reversible error to admit into evidence the findings and conclusions of various members of the Patuxent Institution staff, the contents of the staff report, and the expert opinion of Dr. Boslow based thereon.

2. It was reversible error to admit into evidence the contents of a letter from the acting superintendent of the Maryland Institution for Men.

3. The evidence was insufficient to support the verdict.

(1) In a line of cases beginning with Purks v. State, 226 Md. 43, this Court has held reports of the Institution's staff admissible over hearsay objection. At the time that case was decided, as now, Code (1957), Article 31B, Section 7 (a), in addition to requiring that a medical physician, a psychiatrist and a psychologist shall examine a defendant for possible defective delinquency after having assembled "all pertinent information about the person to be examined," specifically provided that the examiners, on the basis of this information, "plus their own personal examination and study" of the person, were to determine whether in their respective opinions such person was a defective delinquent and to report their findings in writing to the court.

Section 8 (a) at that time provided that if the consensus of the examiners was that the person examined was a defective delinquent, he was to be summoned by the court for a hearing and the court was authorized, in its discretion, to "summon other witnesses and secure further evidence." In Purks v. State, supra, Judge Horney, for this Court, ...


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